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Title: Vocal Expression - A Class-book of Voice Training and Interpretation
Author: Everts, Katherine Jewell
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's note:

   Obvious printer's errors have been corrected. Hyphenation
   and accentuation have been made consistent. All other
   inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's
   spelling has been retained.

   [=x] denotes macron above the letter x.

   Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).



VOCAL EXPRESSION

A Class-Book of Voice Training and Interpretation

by

KATHERINE JEWELL EVERTS

Author of "The Speaking Voice"



Harper & Brothers New York and London
MCMXI


       *       *       *       *       *


BOOKS BY

KATHERINE JEWEL EVERTS

VOCAL EXPRESSION net $1.00

THE SPEAKING VOICE. Post 8vo net 1.00

HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK


COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY HARPER & BROTHERS

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER, 1911

       *       *       *       *       *



PLAN OF THE BOOK


TO THE PUPIL

INTRODUCTION


PART I

STUDIES IN VOCAL INTERPRETATION


PRELIMINARY STUDY:--To Establish a Conscious
Purpose.


  DISCUSSION:--The Relation of the Speaker to His
       Audience.

  MATERIAL:--Direct Appeal in Prose and Verse, with
         Suggestive Analysis.

  SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION.


FIRST STUDY:--To Establish Vitality in Thinking.

  DISCUSSION:--Action of the Mind in Reading Aloud.

  MATERIAL:--The Essay and Didactic Poetry, with
        Suggestive Analysis.

  SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION.


SECOND STUDY:--To Establish Intelligence in Feeling.

  DISCUSSION:--Emotional Response and Abandon.

  MATERIAL:--Lyric Poetry, with Suggestive Analysis.

  SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION.


THIRD STUDY:--To Develop the Whimsical Sense.

  DISCUSSION:--Humor and Fancy.

  MATERIAL:--Fairy Story, Fable, and Nonsense
        Rhyme, with Suggestive Analysis.

  SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION.


FOURTH STUDY:--To Develop Imaginative Vigor.

  DISCUSSION:--The Picture, the Atmosphere, the
        Action.

  MATERIAL:--Short Story and Epic Poetry, with
        Suggestive Analysis.

  SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION.


FIFTH STUDY:--To Develop Dramatic Instinct.

  DISCUSSION:--Impersonation and Characterization.

  MATERIAL:--Monologue and Play, with Suggestive
        Analysis.

  SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION.


PART II

STUDIES IN VOCAL EXPRESSION


INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSION:--The Vocal Vocabulary.

  STUDY IN PAUSE AND CHANGE OF PITCH.

  STUDY IN INFLECTION.

  STUDY IN TONE COLOR.


PART III

STUDIES IN VOCAL TECHNIQUE


INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSION:--Tuning the Instrument.

  HOW TO SUPPORT THE TONE.
    Directions and Exercises.

  HOW TO FREE THE TONE.
    Directions and Exercises.

  HOW TO RE-ENFORCE THE TONE.
    Directions and Exercises.



TO THE PUPIL


Let me trace the evolution which has led to the plan of this text-book.
A class in elocution of which you are a member is given a paragraph from
_Modern Eloquence_, a bit from an oration or address of Beecher or
Phillips or Beveridge, to study. The passage appeals to you. You are
roused by it to an eager, new appreciation of courage, conservatism or
of the character of some national hero. You "look" your interest. You
are asked to go to the platform. You are glad. You want to repeat the
inspired word of the prophet. You begin confidently to voice the words
of the great orator--the words which you had lifted alive from the
page--but in your voice they sound now formal, cold, lifeless. You
hesitate, your emotion is killed, your thought inhibited, your eagerness
gone, your impulse dead--but you have made a discovery. You have become
conscious of a great need, and your teacher, if she be wise, has
discovered the nature of that need. You consult together and find three
things have failed you, and, through you, the orator you wished to
interpret. These things are your mind, your vocabulary, and your voice.
You find that your need is threefold--it is the need to feel
intelligently and to think vitally _on your feet_; the need to acquire a
vocal vocabulary; the need to train your instruments of
expression--voice and body.

To help you and your teacher to meet this threefold need is the wish of
this book; and the book's plan is the result of the author's experience
with her own pupils in watching the evolution of their skill in vocal
expression, the development, along natural lines, of their ability to
speak effectively.



VOCAL EXPRESSION



INTRODUCTION


The strongest impulse of the human heart is for self-expression. The
simplest form of expression is speech. Speech is the instinctive use of
a natural instrument, the voice. The failure to deal justly with this
simple and natural means of expression is one of the serious failures of
our educational system. Whether the student is to wait on another's
table or be host at his own; whether he is to sell "goods" from one side
of a counter or buy them from the other; whether he is to enter one of
the three great professions of law, medicine, or theology; "go on the
stage" or platform; become Minister to France or President of the United
States, it remains precisely true that to speak effectively will be
essential to his success, and should be as essential to his own
happiness as it will be to that of all involved in his pursuit of
success.

Yet, if we give heed at all to the question of voice and speech, it is
our last, not our first, consideration. We still look upon the mind as a
storehouse instead of a clearing-house. We continue to concern ourselves
with its ability to take in, not its capacity to give out. Voice and
speech are still left to shift for themselves during the period of
school life when they should be guarded and guided as a most essential
equipment for life after school days are over. To convert the resultant
hard, high-pitched, nasal tone which betrays the American voice into the
adequate agent of a temperament which distinguishes the American
personality, and to help English speech in this country to become an
efficient medium of lucid intercourse, such is the object of this book.

In an address upon the "Question of Our Speech" delivered before a
graduating class at Bryn Mawr, several years ago, Mr. Henry James said:

"No civilized body of men and women has ever left so vital an interest
to run wild, to shift, as we say, all for itself, to stumble and
flounder, through mere adventure and accident, in the common dust of
life, to pick up a living, in fine, by the wayside and the ditch.

"The French, the Germans, the Italians, the English, perhaps, in
particular, and many other people, Occidental and Oriental, I surmise,
not excluding the Turks and the Chinese, have for the symbol of
education, of civility, a tone-standard; we alone flourish in
undisturbed and in something like sublime unconsciousness of any such
possibility."

So searching an arraignment by so eminent a scholar before an audience
of so high a degree of intelligence and culture seems to have been
necessary to command an adequate appreciation of the condition of "Our
Speech" and to incite an adequate effort toward reform. Since the
arraignment was made and afterward published, classes have been
organized, books written, and lectures delivered in increasing
abundance, forming a veritable speech crusade--and the books and the
classes and the lectures have availed much, but the real and only
"reliable remedy" lies with the teacher in the public and private
schools and colleges of the United States. And it is to the teacher of
English and Elocution that this _Class Book on Vocal Expression_ is
offered.

_Learning to Talk_ might have been a truer, as it had been a simpler,
title, yet the more comprehensive phrase has justifiable significance,
and we have chosen it in the same spirit which discards for the
text-book in Rhetoric or English Composition the inviting title
_Learning to Write_.

There is a close analogy between the evolution of vocal and the
evolution of verbal expression. The method of instruction in the study
of the less heeded subject of the "Spoken Word" throws an interesting
light on the teaching of the more regarded question of the "Written
Word." An experience as teacher of expression and English in a normal
school in Minnesota has influenced the author of these pages to so large
an extent in the formulation of her own method of study, and so in the
plan of this volume, that it seems advisable to record it. To the work
of reading or expression to which she was originally called two classes
in composition were added. The former teacher of composition had
bequeathed to the work as a text-book a rhetoric which consisted of
involved theory plus one hundred and twenty-five separate and distinct
rules for the use of words, and the teacher of expression found, to her
amazed dismay, that the students had been required to learn these rules,
not only "by heart," but by number, referring to them as rule six or
thirty-six or one hundred and twenty-five, according to the demanded
application.

A week, possibly a fortnight, passed in silent struggle, then the
distracted teacher of expression went to the president of the school
with these questions: "Of what avail are one hundred and twenty-five
rules for the use of words when these children have less than that
number of words to use, and no desire to acquire more? Could you make
teachers of these normal students by giving a hundred and more laws for
the governing of pupils and the imparting of the material of knowledge,
if you furnished neither pupils nor material upon which to test the
laws?" "Certainly not!" was the restful reply of one of the wisest of
the educators I have known. "May I lay aside the text-book and read with
these students in English for a little?" "You may teach them to write
English in any way you can!"

The next day the class in composition was discovered eagerly reading
Tennyson's _Holy Grail_, stopping to note this felicitous phrase, that
happy choice of words, the pertinent personnel of a sentence or
paragraph. The first examination of the term consisted in a series of
single questions, written on separate slips of paper and laid face down
on the teacher's desk. Each student took one of these slips which read,
"Tell in your own words the story of _The Coming of Arthur_, the _Holy
Grail_, _Lancelot and Elaine_ or _Guinevere_," as the chance of the
chooser might allot a given idyl. The experiment was a success. The
president was satisfied with the papers in English composition. Each
student had had "something to say" and had said it. Each student had
words at his command little dreamed of in his vocabulary before the
meeting with the Knights of the Round Table.

The first step toward a mastery of Verbal Expression had been
successfully taken! The consciousness of need--the need of a
vocabulary--had been awakened. The desire to supply that need--to
acquire a vocabulary--had been aroused. A way to acquire a vocabulary
had been made manifest. Out of such consciousness alone is born the
willingness to work upon which progress in the mastery of any art
depends. To the teacher of expression it seemed no more advisable now
than it had seemed before, to ask the students to learn either "by
heart" or by number the one hundred and twenty-five rules of technique.
But the great laws governing the use of a vocabulary she now found her
students eager to study, to understand, and to apply. She found her
class willing to enter upon the drudgery which a mastery of technique in
any art demands.

So in the teaching of Vocal Expression, he who _begins_ with rules for
the use of this change of pitch or that inflection, this pause or that
color of tone, before he has aroused in the pupil the desire to express
a vivid thought, and so made him conscious of the need to command subtle
changes of pitch, swift contrasts in tone and turns of inflection, will
find himself responsible for mechanical results sadly divorced from true
and natural speech. But let the teacher of expression begin, not with
rules of technique, but with the material for inspiration and
interpretation; let him rouse in the pupil the impulse to express and
then furnish the material and means for study which shall enrich the
vocabulary of expression and he will find the instruments of the
art--voice and speech--growing into the free and efficient agents of
personality they are intended by nature to be.

       *       *       *       *       *

In March, 1906, the editor of _Harper's Bazar_ began a crusade in the
interest of the American voice and speech. Through the issues of more
than a year the magazine published arraignment, admonition, and advice
on this subject. It was the privilege of the author of this volume to
contribute the last four articles in that series. In response to a
definite demand from the readers of the Bazar these articles were later
embodied in a little book called _The Speaking Voice_. In a preface to
this book the author confesses her "deliberate effort to simplify and
condense the principles fundamental to all recognized systems of vocal
instruction," making them available for those too occupied to enter upon
the more exhaustive study set forth in more elaborate treatises. The
book was not intended for hours of class-room work in schools or
colleges, but for the spare moments of a business or social life, and
its reception in that world was gratifying. But, to the author's
delight, the interest aroused created a demand in the schools and
colleges for a real text-book, a book which could be put into the hands
of students in the departments of English and expression in public and
private institutions and colleges, and especially in normal schools. It
is in response to that appeal that this class-book in _Vocal
Expression_ is issued; and it is to the teachers whose impelling
interest and enthusiasm in the subject justify the publication of this
volume that the author desires first to express her grateful
appreciation.

To Miss Frances Nash, of the Lincoln High School in Cleveland, for her
invaluable advice in determining the exact nature of the need which the
book must meet, and for her assistance in choosing the material for
interpretation, my gratitude and appreciation are especially due.

To others whose influence through books or personal instruction has made
this task possible, acknowledgment made in _The Speaking Voice_ is
reiterated.



PART I

STUDIES IN VOCAL INTERPRETATION



PRELIMINARY STUDY

TO ESTABLISH A CONSCIOUS PURPOSE

     "The orator must have something in his very soul he feels to be
     worth saying. He must have in his nature that kindly sympathy that
     connects him with his fellow-men and which so makes him a part of
     the audience that his smile is their smile, his tear is their tear,
     the throb of his heart the throb of the hearts of the whole
     assembly."--HENRY WARD BEECHER.


We have said that whatever part in the world's life we choose or are
chosen to take, it remains precisely true that to speak effectively is
essential to fulfilling, in the highest sense, that function. Whether
the occupation upon which we enter be distinguished by the title of
cash-girl or counsellor at law; dish-washer or débutante; stable-boy or
statesman; artist in the least or the highest of art's capacities,
crises will arise in that calling which demand a command of effective
speech. The situation may call for a slow, quietly searching
interrogation or a swift, ringing command. The need may be for a use of
that expressive vocal form which requires, to be efficient, the rugged
or the gracious elements of your vocabulary; the vital or the velvet
tone; the straight inflection or the circumflex; the salient or the
slight change of pitch; the long or the short pause. Whatever form the
demand takes, the need remains for command of the efficient elements of
tone and speech if we are to become masters of the situation and to
attain success in our calling. How to acquire this mastery is our
problem. How to take the first step toward acquiring that command is the
subject of this first study.

Is there a student reader of these pages who has not already faced a
situation requiring for its mastery such command? Listen to Mr. James
again:

"All life, therefore, comes back to the question of our speech, the
medium through which we communicate with each other; for all life comes
back to the question of our relations with each other. These relations
are possible, are registered, are verily constituted by our speech, and
are successful in proportion as our speech is worthy of its human and
social function; is developed, delicate, flexible, rich--an adequate
accomplished fact. The more we live by it, the more it promotes and
enhances life. Its quality, its authenticity, its security, are hence
supremely important for the general multifold opportunity, for the
dignity and integrity, of our existence."

Is there one among you whose relations with others would not have been
rendered simpler, truer, clearer at some critical moment had your
"speech been more worthy of its great human and social function?" Then,
do you hesitate to enter upon a study which shall make for clarified
relations and a new "dignity and integrity of existence?" Anticipating
your reply, I invite you to take a first step in Vocal Expression. How
shall we approach the subject? How did you begin to master any one of
the activities in which you are more or less proficient? How did you
learn to swim, or skate, or play the violin? Not by standing on the
shore and gazing at the water or ice! Not by looking at violins in shop
windows! No! You began by leaping into the water, putting on your skates
and going out on the ice; taking the violin into your hands and drawing
the bow across the strings. But you say: "We have taken the step which
corresponds to these in speech! We can talk!" Exactly! But what command
of the art of skating or swimming or playing the violin would the artist
in any of these activities have achieved had he been content to stop
with the act of jumping into the water, going out on the ice, or drawing
the bow across the violin? The question's answer calls up an
illuminating analogy. Are not most of us in regard to our mastery of
speech in the condition of the skater, the swimmer, the fiddler in the
first stage of those expressive acts? Are we not floundering in the
water, fallen on the ice, or alienating the ears of our friends? "We are
so! We confess it!"--every time we speak.

And so to-day we shall offer no argument against entering upon an
_introductory_ study--we shall take our first step in the Art of Vocal
Expression. But we shall take it in a new spirit--the spirit of an
artist bent upon the mastery of his art. If we flounder or fall, we
shall not be more content in our ignominy than is the choking swimmer or
the prostrate skater. If we produce painful instead of pleasing sounds
with our instrument, we shall not persist in a merciless process of tone
production; but we shall proceed to study diligently the laws governing
the control of the instrument until we have mastered its technique and
made it an agent of harmonious intercourse. We shall take the first
steps with a conscious purpose, the purpose to make our speech worthy of
its great social and human function.

Then in this spirit I invite you "to plunge." I furnish as the material
for your experiment these sentences:


DISCUSSION OF DIRECT APPEAL

     Do you ask me, then, what is this Puritan principle?

     The Puritan principle in its essence is simply individual
     freedom!--CURTIS.

     Mind your own business with your absolute will and soul, but see
     that it is a good business first.--RUSKIN.

     Back to the bridge and show your teeth again,
     Back to the bridge and show to God your eyes!--MACKAYE.

     What news, and quickly!--MACKAYE.

     Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal
     to your tasks.--PHILLIPS BROOKS.

     Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home. Is this a
     holiday?--SHAKESPEARE.

     And so, gentlemen, at this hour we are not Republicans, we are not
     Democrats, we are Americans!--CURTIS.

I shall not discuss the interpretation of these sentences with you. I
shall not interpret them for you. Such discussion and interpretation is
your part in this study. But you are not to discuss them with a pencil
on paper; you are to interpret them with your voice to another mind.

Let us stop here and consider together for a few moments this act which
we call Vocal Interpretation (which might be more simply designated as
Reading Aloud), and with which these first studies are concerned. What
does it mean to vocally interpret a piece of literature--a poem, a play,
a bit of prose; a paragraph, a sentence, or even a single word? It means
that you, the interpreter, must transfer the thought contained in that
word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph from the printed page to the mind
of an auditor. It means that you must take the thought out of the safety
vault and put it into circulation. That is your problem, and it presents
three factors. You cannot slight any one of these factors and expect to
successfully solve your problem. These factors are: your author's
thought, your own voice, and your auditor's mind.

We shall concern ourselves in this first study with the last of these
three factors--the mind of the auditor, or, to put it more definitely,
your attitude toward the mind of your auditor. We shall make this our
first concern, not because it is more essential to successful delivery
than the other two elements of the problem, but because failure at this
point is a fundamental failure. Such failure involves the whole
structure in ruin.

Let me make this point explicit. Failure of the speaker to direct the
thought toward a receiving mind--the mind of an auditor--results in
blurred thought, robs the voice of all aim, and reduces the
interpretation to a meaningless recital of words. Consider the first
factor in the problem of interpretation--the thought of the author. Take
these first two sentences:

     Do you ask me, then, what is this Puritan principle?

     The Puritan principle in its essence is simply individual freedom!

A wholly satisfying interpretation of these lines involves a knowledge
of the speech from which they are taken, and a knowledge of the
circumstances under which it was delivered. Complete possession of the
thought, which alone insures perfect expression, requires a grasp of
the situation out of which it was born and an appreciation of the mind
which conceived it. But with no context and no knowledge of these
conditions, and so only an approximate appreciation of the thought in
all its fulness, the interpreter, under the stimulus of an intent to
convince another of the truth contained in the detached sentence, may
deliver the lines convincingly! And to carry conviction is the first and
fundamental requisite of all good delivery.

So it is with the second factor in your problem. Your voice may fail at
a dozen different points, but _directed_ thought can employ so skilfully
even an inefficient instrument that the resultant expression, while
never satisfying, may still carry conviction.

But let the one who speaks these lines feel no responsibility toward
another, let him fail to direct the idea toward another mind, and the
most complete possession of the author's thought, plus the most perfect
control of the voice, will fail to make the interpretation convincing.
You must establish a relation with your auditor! You must have an aim.
You must "have something to say," but you must also have some one "to
say it at." You cannot hope to become an expert marksman by "shooting
into the air."

Then once more I bid you approach the subject of Vocal Interpretation in
a new spirit. Let your study of the thought in these sentences hold in
its initial impulse this idea: "I have something I _must tell you_!" Try
prefacing your interpretation with some such phrase as this: "Listen to
me!" or, "I want to tell you something."

I would suggest as a preliminary exercise that you should try "shooting
at a mark" these single words: "No!" "Yes!" "Come!" "Go!" "Aim!" "Fire!"
"Help!" "What ho!"

     Listen to me!

     "You will find the gayest castles in the air far better for comfort
     and for use than the dungeons that are daily dug and caverned out
     by grumbling, discontented people."--EMERSON.

     Let me tell you something!

     "Might is right, say many, and so it is. Might is the right to bear
     the burdens of the weak, to cheer the faint, to uplift the fallen,
     to pour from one's own full store to the need of the
     famishing."--NAPIER.

     It is the angel-aim and standard in an act that consecrates it. He
     who aims for perfection in a trifle is trying to do that trifle
     holily. The trier wears the halo, and, therefore, the halo grows as
     quickly round the brows of peasant as of king.--GANNETT.

     Think twice before you speak, my son; and it will do no harm if you
     keep on thinking while you speak.--ANONYMOUS.

    Sweet friends
    Man's love ascends,
    To finer and diviner ends
    Than man's mere thought e'er comprehends.

                                           --LANIER.


SUGGESTIVE ANALYSIS

HAMLET'S SPEECH TO THE PLAYERS

     _Hamlet:_ 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, whirlwind of your
     passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it
     smoothness....

     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
     'twere, 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.

                                           --SHAKESPEARE.

Let us consider together the problem of vocally interpreting this speech
of Hamlet's, keeping the mind of the auditor constantly before us, the
special factor in our problem which is the concern of this study. What
is the first point to be determined? The situation, is it not? Remember,
in our previous discussion I have made it clear that it is not essential
_to our present purpose_ that we should know, in determining our
situation, the exact conditions under which this speech was delivered.
Neither is it essential _to our present purpose_ that we should make an
exhaustive study of the play of "Hamlet" or of the character of the
Prince of Denmark. Lest you mistake me I must reiterate the fact that
an interpretation of these lines, looked upon as Hamlet's speech, would
require just such exhaustive study of context and character--study which
would lead to that complete possession which alone insures perfect
expression; but it is legitimate at this point in our study of vocal
expression to use this text quite apart from its context as a perfect
example of direct appeal. It is legitimate to _imagine_ a situation of
our own in which this thought could be pertinently expressed. We must
then first determine what you, the speaker, are to represent, and the
nature of the audience you are to address. One word in the text more
than any other, perhaps, determines these points--the word "players."
With this word as a key to a probable situation, let us imagine that
you, the one who must "speak this speech," are a stage-director of your
own play, and that we, the class to whom you must speak, are a company
of players (actors, as we now call them) which is about to present your
play. The fact that this is exactly the situation in Shakespeare's play
from which this speech is taken is interesting, but does not affect our
attitude toward the text. But that we should assume the state of mind
which animated the author of the _Mouse-trap, is_ vital to our problem.
Hamlet was intent upon getting an effect incalculably potent from the
delivery of the "speech" he "had pronounced." You must imagine that you
have written not merely a play, but a play which you intend shall have a
powerful influence upon the lives of the people who are to hear it. Once
more, then, let us determine the exact situation. You, the author of a
moving play--you, its stage-director--have called us, your actors,
together for rehearsal. You know just how you wish the lines of your
play delivered. It is absolutely vital to the success of your venture
that we, the actors, should grasp your ideal of delivery and act upon
it. You must convince us that this is the only way in which you will
permit the text to be handled. You are the orator as Mr. Beecher has
drawn him for us. You will realize, in thinking your way through this
appeal, that, while the stage-director is addressing the whole company
of players, he has singled out from the others one who is to deliver a
particular speech from his play. It is well to follow this idea of the
situation. Include us all, then, as a class in your chosen cast, but
single out one of us, and speak directly at the mind of that one. Look
him straight in the eye. Direct your thought in the main to his mind,
even while your thought reaches out and draws us all into the circle of
its enthusiasm. Now, with this attitude and intent toward an audience,
try to vocally interpret, to _think aloud_ this thought. What is the
trouble? "Speak the speech" you say, "is a difficult combination of
words to utter"? "'Trippingly' trips up your tongue"? "You don't
understand the reference to a 'town-crier'"?

Ah, what discoveries we are making!

"You feel that you should be able to illustrate your own ideal of
delivery by delivering these directions after the very manner you ask
your players to observe"? That might legitimately be expected of you, I
think. "But this you cannot do!" What a shocking confession! Yes, but
how good to have this new knowledge of your own ability, or, in this
case, disability. How appalling to find that you cannot easily utter the
simple combination of words, "Speak the speech, I pray you," without
stumbling; that any word, a plain, simple English word, trips your
tongue. How appalling, but how encouraging it is! For the discovery of
this fact, the consciousness of these limitations, "constitutes half the
battle" before us. It is a battle. But you shall be equipped to meet it.
Turn to the chapters on "Freeing the Tone." Find the exercises for
training the tongue. Faithful practice of these exercises (even
_without_ direction, but, if you are a member of the class in expression
for which this book was made, _under_ direction) will very shortly
conquer the unruly tongue for use in uttering any difficult combination
of words. And your teacher will patiently "pick you up" (_in this first
study_) every time you trip over a word or phrase, and she will
patiently refer you to the corner of history which will explain any
unfamiliar portions of your text if _you_ will persistently try to do
_your_ part at this point. That part is, to think the thought before you
directly at another's mind. That is all we ask at this point. Make this
direct appeal for simplicity in delivery straight to the mind of him
whom you have chosen to receive, and act upon it. Talk to me if I am
your chosen player! Convince me! Make me realize what you expect of me!
Make me want to meet your expectation! Make me afraid to fail you!

With these suggestions and this direct appeal to you, I leave you with
your teacher and with the following material chosen for your preliminary
study in _Vocal Interpretation_.


SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION

     There was once a noble ship full of eager passengers, straining at
     full speed from England to America. Two-thirds of a prosperous
     voyage thus far were over, and in our mess we were beginning to
     talk of home.

     Suddenly a dense fog came, shrouding the horizon, but, as this was
     a common occurrence in the latitude we were sailing, it was hardly
     mentioned in our talk. A happier company never sailed upon an
     autumn sea. When a quick cry from the lookout, a rush of officers
     and men, and we were grinding on a ledge of rocks off Cape Race. I
     heard the cry, "Every one on deck!" and knew what that meant--the
     masts were in danger of falling. A hundred pallid faces were
     huddled together near the stern of the ship where we were told to
     go and wait.

     Suddenly we heard a voice up in the fog in the direction of the
     wheel-house ringing like a clarion above the roar of the waves. As
     the orders came distinctly and deliberately through the captain's
     trumpet to "Shift the cargo," to "Back her," to "Keep her steady,"
     we felt, somehow, that the commander up there in the thick mist
     knew what he was about.

     When, after weary days of anxious suspense, the vessel leaking
     badly, we arrived safely in Halifax, old Mr. Cunard, agent of the
     line, on hearing from the mail officer that the steamer had struck
     on the rocks and been saved by the captain's presence of mind and
     courage, replied, simply: "Just what I might have expected. Captain
     Harrison is always master of the situation."

     No man ever became master of the situation by accident or
     indolence. "He happened to succeed" is a foolish, unmeaning phrase.
     No man happens to succeed. "What do you mix your paints with?"
     asked a visitor of Opie, the painter. "With brains, sir," was the
     artist's reply. * * *

     There are men who fail of mastery in the world from too low an
     estimate of human nature. "Despise nothing, my son," was the
     advice a mother gave to her boy when he went forth into the untried
     world to seek his fortune, and that boy grew up into Sir Walter
     Scott. * * *

     In case of great emergency it took a certain general in our
     army several days to get his personal baggage ready. Sheridan
     rode into Winchester without even a change of stockings in his
     saddle-bags. * * *

     All great leaders have been inspired with a great belief. In nine
     cases out of ten, failure is borne of unbelief.--_Masters of the
     Situation_, JAMES T. FIELDS.

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead!
    In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility;
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger:
    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage: * * *
    Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
    To his full height! On, on, you noblest English,
    Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
    Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
    Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
    And sheathed their swords for lack of argument. * * *
    I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
    Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
    Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge
    Cry--God for Harry! England! and St. George!--_Henry V._, SHAKESPEARE

     Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this
     continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the
     proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a
     great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so
     conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great
     battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that
     field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives
     that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper
     that we should do this.

     But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate--we cannot
     consecrate--we cannot hallow--this ground. The brave men, living
     and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our
     power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long
     remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did
     here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the
     unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly
     advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great
     task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take
     increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full
     measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead
     shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall
     have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by
     the people, for the people, shall not perish from the
     earth.--_Address at Gettysburg_, ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

From an address delivered in the Auditorium, at Chicago, on the
afternoon of February 22, 1902, on the occasion of the celebration of
Washington's Birthday.

     The meaning of Washington in American history is discipline. The
     message of Washington's life to the American people is discipline.
     The need of American character is discipline.

     Washington did not give patriotism to the American colonies. The
     people had that as abundantly as he. He did not give them courage.
     That quality was and is in the American blood. He did not even give
     them resource. There were intellects more productive than his. But
     Washington gave balance and direction to elemental forces. He was
     the genius of order. He was poise personified. He was the spirit of
     discipline. He was the first Great Conservative. It was this
     quality in him that made all other elements of the Revolution
     effective. It was this that organized our nebulous independence
     into a nation of liberty. The parts of a machine are useless until
     assembled and fitted each to its appropriate place. Washington was
     the master mechanic of our nation; so it is that we are a people.

     But we are not yet a perfect people. We are still in the making. It
     is a glorious circumstance. Youth is the noblest of God's gifts.
     The youth of a nation is like the youth of a man. The American
     people are young? Yes! Vital? Yes! Powerful? Yes! Disciplined? Not
     entirely. Moderate? Not yet, but growing in that grace. And
     therefore on this, his day, I bear you the message of
     Washington--he, whose sanity, orderliness, and calm have reached
     through the century, steadying us, overcoming in us the untamed
     passions of riotous youth.--_Conservatism; the Spirit of National
     Self-Restraint_, ALBERT BEVERIDGE.

We have noted in our introduction the close analogy which exists between
the evolution of vocal expression and the evolution of verbal
expression. Let us not fail to follow this analogy through the various
studies which make up this one study of interpretation. We have begun
our work in vocal expression with the subject of direct appeal. What
corresponds to this step in the evolution of verbal expression?

Mr. J. H. Gardiner, in his illuminating text for the student of English
composition, called _The Forms of Prose Literature_,[1] discusses these
forms first under the two great heads of the "Literature of Thought" and
the "Literature of Feeling," and then under the four sub-titles which
all instruction in rhetoric recognizes as the accepted divisions of
literature: Exposition, Argument, Description, and Narrative. We do not
find the _exact_ parallel for our study in direct appeal under these
subheads. Do we? No. In order "to take the plunge" in the study of
English composition which shall correspond to our preliminary effort in
interpretation, we must set aside for the moment the question of
_exposition_, to be entered upon as a "first study" in verbal expression
corresponding to the question of _vitality in thinking_, which is our
first study in vocal expression, and look for a parallel "preliminary
study" in composition.

[1] _The Forms of Prose Literature_, courtesy of Messrs. Charles
Scribner's Sons.

In his comparative study of exposition and argumentation Mr. Gardiner
says: "An exceedingly good explanation may leave its reader quite
unmoved: a good argument never does. Even if it does not convert him, it
should at least make him uncomfortable. Now, when we say that argument
must move its reader, we begin to pass from the realm of pure thought,
in which exposition takes rise, to that of feeling, for feeling is a
necessary preliminary to action. How large a part feelings play in
argument you can see if you have ever heard the speech of a demagogue to
an excited crowd. It is simply a crass appeal to their lower passions,
aided by all the devices of oratory, often, perhaps, also by a moving
presence. A better example is Henry Ward Beecher's Liverpool speech, in
which he won a hearing from a hostile mob by an appeal to their sense of
fair play. Such cases show how far argument may get from the simple
appeal to the understanding, how little it may be confined to the
element of thought. The prime quality, therefore, of argument is
_persuasiveness_."

Not argument, then, but the element in argument, called persuasion,
furnishes the study in composition which corresponds to direct appeal in
interpretation. And just as truly as your intent to convince another
mind of the truth of your author's thought will often take care of all
other elements in the problem of its vocal expression and result in
_convincing interpretation_, so the intent to persuade another mind of
the truth of your own thought will often take care of all other elements
in the problem of verbal expression and result in _moving composition_.

Following Mr. Gardiner a little further in his discussion of persuasion,
we find our study in interpretation in direct accord with his advice in
the study of composition, for he says: "This element of persuasion
belongs to that aspect of literature which has to do with the feelings;
and, as depending on the personal equation of the writer, it is much
less easy than the intellectual element to catch and generalize from,
and almost impossible to teach. All that I can do is to examine it in
good examples, and then make very tentatively a few suggestions based on
these examples. For it cannot too often be written down in such a
treatise as this that the teacher of writing can no more make a great
writer than the teacher of painting can turn out a new Rembrandt or a
Millet; in either case the most that the teacher can do is to furnish
honest and illuminating criticism, and to save his pupil unnecessary and
tedious steps by showing him the methods and devices which have been
worked out by the masters of the craft."

In treating the question of pure style, as another division of the power
of persuasion, Mr. Gardiner says: "It is almost impossible to give
practical help toward acquiring this gift of an expressive style; the
ear for the rhythm and assonance of style is like an ear for music,
though more common, perhaps. It is good practice to read aloud the
writing of men who are famous for the quality, and, when you read to
yourself, always to have in mind the sound of what you read. The more
you can give yourself of this exercise, the more when you write,
yourself, will you hear the way your own style sounds."

With our idea for a combined study of the two great forms of expression
reinforced by such authority, let us, in taking our next step in this
preliminary study in vocal expression, make it also a preliminary study
in verbal expression by using as our next selection for interpretation,
not a fragment of an address or a part of an oration, but a complete
example of persuasive discourse. Such an example we find in this sermon
of Mr. Gannett's "Blessed be Drudgery." And, as we try our growing
powers of lucid interpretation upon this subject-matter, let us stop to
note its verbal construction and its obedience to the laws of persuasive
discourse. The interpretation must be made in the class-room, because
interpretation needs an immediate audience; the analysis of the literary
form may be made in your study: the two processes should be carried on
as far as possible together.


    BLESSED BE DRUDGERY[2]

[2] This sermon is published with the kind permission of the author and
the publisher.

     I

     Of every two men probably one man thinks he is a drudge, and every
     second woman is _sure_ she is. Either we are not doing the thing we
     would like to do in life; or, in what we do and like, we find so
     much to dislike that the rut tires even when the road runs on the
     whole, a pleasant way. I am going to speak of the _Culture that
     comes through this very drudgery_.

     "Culture through my drudgery!" some one is now thinking: "This
     treadmill that has worn me out, this grind I hate, this plod that,
     as long ago as I remember it, seemed tiresome--to this have I owed
     'culture'? Keeping house or keeping accounts, tending babies,
     teaching primary school, weighing sugar and salt at a counter,
     those blue overalls in the machine shop--have these anything to do
     with 'culture'? Culture takes leisure, elegance, wide margins of
     time, a pocket-book; drudgery means limitations, coarseness,
     crowded hours, chronic worry, old clothes, black hands, headaches.
     Culture implies college: life allows a daily paper, a monthly
     magazine, the circulating library, and two gift-books at Christmas.
     Our real and our ideal are not twins--never were! I want the
     books,--but the clothes-basket wants me. The two children are
     good,--and so would be two hours a day without the children. I
     crave an outdoor life,--and walk down-town of mornings to perch on
     a high stool till supper-time. I love Nature,--and figures are my
     fate. My taste is books,--and I farm it. My taste is art,--and I
     correct exercises. My taste is science,--and I measure tape. I am
     young and like stir,--the business jogs on like a stage-coach. Or I
     am _not_ young, I am getting gray over my ears, and like to sit down
     and be still,--but the drive of the business keeps both tired arms
     stretched out full length. I hate this overbidding and this
     underselling, this spry, unceasing competition, and would
     willingly give up a quarter of my profits to have two hours of my
     daylight to myself,--at least I would if, working just as I do, I
     did not barely get the children bread and clothes. I did not choose
     my calling, but was dropped into it--by my innocent conceit, or by
     duty to the family, or by a parent's foolish pride, or by our hasty
     marriage; or a mere accident wedged me into it. Would I could have
     my life over again! Then, whatever I _should_ be, at least I would
     _not_ be what I am to-day!"

     Have I spoken truly for any one here? I know I have. Goes not the
     grumble thus within the silent breast of many a person, whose pluck
     never lets it escape to words like these, save now and then on a
     tired evening to husband or to wife?

     There is often truth and justice in the grumble. Truth and justice
     both. Still, when the question rises through the grumble, Can it be
     that drudgery, not to be escaped, gives "culture"? the true answer
     is--Yes, and culture of the prime elements of life; of the very
     fundamentals of all fine manhood and fine womanhood.

     Our _prime_ elements are due to our drudgery--I mean that
     literally; the _fundamentals_ that underlie all fineness and
     without which no other culture worth the winning is even possible.
     These, for instance--and what names are more familiar? Power of
     attention; power of industry; promptitude in beginning work; method
     and accuracy and despatch in doing work; perseverance; courage
     before difficulties; cheer under straining burdens; self-control
     and self-denial and temperance. These are the prime qualities;
     these the fundamentals. We have heard these names before! When we
     were small mother had a way of harping on them, and father joined
     in emphatically, and the minister used to refer to them in church.
     And this was what our first employer meant--only his way of putting
     the matter was, "Look sharp, my boy!"--"Be on time, John!"--"Stick
     to it!" Yes, that is just what they all meant: these _are_ the very
     qualities which the mothers tried to tuck into us when they tucked
     us into bed, the very qualities which the ministers pack into their
     platitudes, and which the nations pack into their proverbs. And
     that goes to _show_ that they are the fundamentals. Reading,
     writing, and arithmetic are very handy, but these fundamentals of a
     man are handier to have; worth more; worth more than Latin and
     Greek and French and German and music and art-history and painting
     and wax flowers and travels in Europe added together. These last
     are the decorations of a man or woman: even reading and writing are
     but conveniences: those other things are the _indispensables_. They
     make one's sit-fast strength and one's active momentum, whatsoever
     and wheresoever the lot in life be--be it wealth or poverty, city
     or country, library or workshop. Those qualities make the solid
     substance of one's self.

     And the question I would ask of myself and you is, How do we get
     them? How do they become ours? High-school and college can give
     much, but these are never on their programmes. All the book
     processes that we go to the schools for, and commonly call "our
     education," give no more than _opportunity_ to win these
     indispensables of education. How, then, do we get them? We get them
     somewhat as the fields and valleys get their grace. Whence is it
     that the lines of river and meadow and hill and lake and shore
     conspire to-day to make the landscape beautiful? Only by long
     chiselings and steady pressures. Only by ages of glacier crush and
     grind, by scour of floods, by centuries of storm and sun. These
     rounded the hills, and scooped the valley-curves, and mellowed the
     soil for meadow-grace. There was little grace in the operation, had
     we been there to watch. It was "drudgery" all over the land. Mother
     Nature was down on her knees doing her early scrubbing work! That
     was yesterday: to-day, result of scrubbing-work, we have the
     laughing landscape.

     Now what is true of the earth is true of each man and woman on the
     earth. Father and mother and the ancestors before them have done
     much to bequeath those elemental qualities to us; but that which
     scrubs them into us, the clinch which makes them actually ours, and
     keeps them ours, and adds to them as the years go by--that depends
     on our own plod, our plod in the rut, our drill of habit; in one
     word, depends upon our "drudgery." It is because we have to go,
     and _go_, morning after morning, through rain, through shine,
     through toothache, headache, heartache, to the appointed spot, and
     do the appointed work; because, and only because, we have to stick
     to that work through the eight or ten hours, long after rest would
     be so sweet; because the school-boy's lesson must be learned at
     nine o'clock and learned without a slip; because the accounts on
     the ledger must square to a cent; because the goods must tally
     exactly with the invoice; because good temper must be kept with
     children, customers, neighbors, not seven, but seventy times seven
     times; because the besetting sin must be watched to-day, to-morrow,
     and the next day; in short, without much matter _what_ our work be,
     whether this or that, it is because, and only because, of the rut,
     plod, grind, humdrum _in_ the work, that we at last get those
     self-foundations laid of which I spoke,--attention, promptness,
     accuracy, firmness, patience, self-denial, and the rest. When I
     think over that list and seriously ask myself three questions, I
     have to answer each with _No_:--Are there any qualities in the list
     which I can afford to spare, to go without, as mere show-qualities?
     Not one. Can I get these self-foundations laid, save by the weight,
     year in, year out, of the steady pressures? No, there is no other
     way. Is there a single one in the list which I cannot get in some
     degree by undergoing the steady drills and pressures? No, not one.
     Then beyond all books, beyond all class-work at the school, beyond
     all special opportunities of what I call my "education," it is
     this drill and pressure of my daily task that is my great
     school-master. _My daily task_, whatever it be--_that is what
     mainly educates me_. All other culture is mere luxury compared with
     what that gives. That gives the indispensables. Yet fool that I am,
     this pressure of my daily task is the very thing that I so growl at
     as my "drudgery"!

     We can add right here this fact, and practically it is a very
     important fact to girls and boys as ambitious as they ought to
     be,---the higher our ideals, the _more_ we need those foundation
     habits strong. The street-cleaner can better afford to drink and
     laze than he who would make good shoes; and to make good shoes
     takes less force of character and brain than to make cures in the
     sick-room, or laws in the legislature, or children in the nursery.
     The man who makes the head of a pin or the split of a pen all day
     long, and the man who must put fresh thought into his work at every
     stroke,--which of the two more needs the self-control, the method,
     the accuracy, the power of attention and concentration? Do you sigh
     for books and leisure and wealth? It takes more "concentration" to
     use books--head tools--well than to use hand tools. It takes more
     "self-control" to use leisure well than workdays. Compare the
     Sundays and Mondays of your city; which day, all things considered,
     stands for the city's higher life,--the day on which so many men
     are lolling, or the day on which all toil? It takes more knowledge,
     more integrity, more justice, to handle riches well than to bear
     the healthy pinch of the just-enough.

     Do you think that the great and famous escape drudgery? The native
     power and temperament, the outfit and capital at birth, counts for
     much, but it convicts us common minds of huge mistake to hear the
     uniform testimony of the more successful geniuses about their
     genius. "Genius is patience," said who? Sir Isaac Newton. "The
     Prime Minister's secret is patience," said who? Mr. Pitt, the great
     Prime Minister of England. Who, think you, wrote, "My imagination
     would never have served me as it has, but for the habit of
     commonplace, humble, patient, daily, toiling, drudging attention"?
     It was Charles Dickens. Who said "The secret of a Wall Street
     million is common honesty"? Vanderbilt; and he added as the recipe
     for a million (I know somebody would like to learn it), "Never use
     what is not your own, never buy what you cannot pay for, never sell
     what you haven't got." How simple great men's rules are! How easy
     it is to be a great man! Order, diligence, patience, honesty,--just
     what you and I must use in order to put our dollar in the
     savings-bank, to do our school-boy sum, to keep the farm thrifty,
     and the house clean, and the babies neat. Order, diligence,
     patience, honesty! There is wide difference between men, but truly
     it lies less in some special gift or opportunity granted to one and
     withheld from another, than in the differing degree in which these
     common elements of human power are owned and used. Not how much
     talent have I, but how much will to use the talent that I have, is
     the main question. Not how much do I know, but how much do I do
     with what I know? To do their great work the great ones need more
     of the very same habits which the little ones need to do their
     smaller work. Goethe, Spencer, Agassiz, Jesus, share, not
     achievements, but conditions of achievement, with you and me. And
     those conditions for them, as for us, are largely the plod, the
     drill, the long disciplines of toil. If we ask such men their
     secret, they will uniformly tell us so.

     Since we lay the firm substrata of ourselves in this way, then, and
     only in this way; and since the higher we aim, the more, and not
     the less, we need these firm substrata,--since this is so, I think
     we ought to make up our minds and our mouths to sing a hallelujah
     unto Drudgery: _Blessed be Drudgery_,--the one thing that we cannot
     spare!

     II

     But there is something else to be said. Among the people who are
     drudges there are some who have given up their dreams of what, when
     younger, they used to talk or think about as their "ideals"; and
     have grown at last, if not content, resigned to do the actual work
     before them. Yes, here it is,--before us, and behind us, and on all
     sides of us; we cannot change it; we have accepted it. Still, we
     have not given up one dream,--the dream of _success_ in this work
     to which we are _so_ clamped. If we cannot win the well-beloved
     one, then success with the ill-beloved,--this at least is left to
     hope for. Success may make _it_ well-beloved, too,--who knows?
     Well, the secret of this success still lies in the same old word,
     "drudgery." For drudgery is the doing of one thing, one thing, one
     thing, long after it ceases to be amusing; and it is this "one
     thing I do" that gathers me together from my chaos, that
     concentrates me from possibilities to powers, and turns powers into
     achievements. "One thing I do," said Paul, and, apart from what his
     one thing was, in that phrase he gave the watchword of salvation.
     That whole long string of habits--attention, method, patience,
     self-control, and the others--can be rolled up and balled, as it
     were, in the word "concentration." We will halt a moment at the
     word:

         "I give you the end of a golden string:
           Only wind it into a ball,--
         It will lead you in at Heaven's gate,
           Built in Jerusalem's wall."

     Men may be divided into two classes,--those who have a "one thing,"
     and those who have no "one thing," to do; those with aim, and those
     without aim, in their lives: and practically it turns out that
     almost all of the success, and, therefore, the greater part of the
     happiness, go to the first class. The aim in life is what the
     backbone is in the body: without it we are invertebrate, belong to
     some lower order of being not yet man. No wonder that the great
     question, therefore, with a young man is, What am I to be? and that
     the future looks rather gloomy until the life-path opens. The lot
     of many a girl, especially of many a girl with a rich father, is a
     tragedy of aimlessness. Social standards, and her lack of true
     ideals and of real education, have condemned her to be frittered:
     from twelve years old she is a cripple to be pitied, and by thirty
     she comes to know it. With the brothers the blame is more their
     own. The boys we used to play our school games with have found
     their places; they are winning homes and influence and money, their
     natures are growing strong and shapely, and their days are filling
     with the happy sense of accomplishment,--while _we_ do not yet know
     what we are. We have no meaning on the earth. Lose us, and the
     earth has lost nothing; no niche is empty, no force has ceased to
     play, for we have got no aim, and therefore we are still--nobody.
     _Get your meaning_ first of all! Ask the question until it is
     answered past question, What am I? What do I stand for? What name
     do I bear in the register of forces? In our national cemeteries
     there are rows on rows of unknown bodies of our soldiers,--men who
     did a work and put a meaning to their lives; for the mother and the
     townsmen say, "He died in the war." But the men and women whose
     lives are aimless reverse their fates. Our _bodies_ are known, and
     answer in this world to such or such a name,--but as to our inner
     _selves_, with real and awful meaning our walking bodies might be
     labeled, "An unknown man sleeps here!"

     Now, since it is concentration that prevents this tragedy of
     failure, and since this concentration always involves drudgery,
     long, hard, abundant, we have to own again, I think, that that is
     even more than what I called it first,--our chief school-master;
     besides that, drudgery is the gray Angel of Success. The main
     secret of any success we may hope to rejoice in is in that angel's
     keeping. Look at the leaders in the profession, the "solid" men in
     business, the master-workmen who begin as poor boys and end by
     building a town in which to house their factory hands; they are
     drudges of the single aim. The man of science, and to-day more than
     ever, if he would add to the world's knowledge, or even get a
     reputation, must be, in some one branch at least, a plodding
     specialist. The great inventors, Palissy at his pots, Goodyear at
     his rubber, Elias Howe at his sewing-machine, tell the
     secret,--"One thing I do." The reformer's secret is the same. A
     one-eyed, grim-jawed folk the reformers are apt to be: one-eyed,
     grim-jawed, seeing but the one thing, never letting go, they have
     to be, to start a torpid nation. All these men as doers of the
     single thing drudge their way to their success. Even so must we,
     would we win ours. The foot-loose man is _not_ the enviable man. A
     wise man will be his own necessity and bind himself to a task, if
     by early wealth or foolish parents or other lowering circumstances
     he has lost the help of an outward necessity.

     Again, then, I say, Let us sing a hallelujah and make a fresh
     beatitude: _Blessed be Drudgery!_ It is the one thing we cannot
     spare.

     III

     This is a hard gospel, is it not? But now there is a pleasanter
     word to briefly say. To lay the firm foundations in ourselves, or
     even to win success in life, we _must_ be drudges. But we _can_ be
     _artists_, also, in our daily task. And at that word things
     brighten.

     "Artists," I say,--not artisans. "The difference?" This: the artist
     is he who strives to perfect his work,--the artisan strives to get
     through it. The artist would fain finish, too; but with him it is
     to "finish the work God has given me to do!" It is not how great a
     thing we do, but how well we do the thing we have to, that puts us
     in the noble brotherhood of artists. My Real is not my Ideal,--is
     that my complaint? One thing, at least, is in my power: if I cannot
     realize my Ideal, I can at least _idealize my Real_. How? By trying
     to be perfect in it. If I am but a rain-drop in a shower, I will
     be, at least, a perfect drop; if but a leaf in a whole June, I will
     be, at least, a perfect leaf. This poor "one thing I do,"--instead
     of repining at its lowness or its hardness, I will make it glorious
     by my supreme loyalty to its demand.

     An artist himself shall speak. It was Michael Angelo who said:
     "Nothing makes the soul so pure, so religious, as the endeavor to
     create something perfect; for God is perfection, and whoever
     strives for it strives for something that is godlike. True painting
     is only an image of God's perfection,--a shadow of the pencil with
     which he paints, a melody, a striving after harmony." The great
     masters in music, the great masters in all that we call artistry,
     would echo Michael Angelo in this; he speaks the artist essence
     out. But what holds good upon their grand scale and with those
     whose names are known, holds equally good of all pursuits and all
     lives. That true painting is an image of God's perfection must be
     true, if he says so; but no more true of painting than of
     shoemaking, of Michael Angelo than of John Pounds, the cobbler. I
     asked a cobbler once how long it took to become a good shoemaker;
     he answered, promptly, "Six years,--and then you must travel!" That
     cobbler had the artist soul. I told a friend the story, and he
     asked his cobbler the same question: How long does it take to
     become a good shoemaker? "All your life, sir." That was still
     better,--a Michael Angelo of shoes! Mr. Maydole, the hammer-maker,
     of central New York, was an artist: "Yes," said he to Mr. Parton,
     "I have made hammers here for twenty-eight years." "Well, then, you
     ought to be able to make a pretty good hammer by this time." "No,
     sir," was the answer, "I _never_ made a pretty good hammer. I make
     the best hammer made in the United States." Daniel Morell, once
     president of the Cambria Railworks in Pittsburgh, which employed
     seven thousand men, was an artist, and trained artists. "What is
     the secret of such a development of business as this?" asked the
     visitor. "We have no secret," was the answer; "we always try to
     beat our last batch of rails. That's all the secret we have, and we
     don't care who knows it." The Paris bookbinder was an artist, who,
     when the rare volume of Corneille, discovered in a book-stall, was
     brought to him, and he was asked how long it would take him to bind
     it, answered, "Oh, sir, you must give me a year, at least; _this_
     needs all my care." Our Ben Franklin showed the artist when he
     began his own epitaph, "Benjamin Franklin, printer." And Professor
     Agassiz, when he told the interviewer that he had "no time to make
     money"; and when he began his will, "I, Louis Agassiz, teacher."

     In one of Murillo's pictures in the Louvre he shows us the interior
     of a convent kitchen; but doing the work there are, not mortals in
     old dresses, but beautiful white-winged angels. One serenely puts
     the kettle on the fire to boil, and one is lifting up a pail of
     water with heavenly grace, and one is at the kitchen dresser
     reaching up for plates; and I believe there is a little cherub
     running about and getting in the way, trying to help. What the old
     monkish legend that it represented is, I hardly know. But, as the
     painter puts it to you on his canvas, all are so busy, and working
     with such a will, and so refining the work as they do it, that
     somehow you forget that pans are pans and pots pots, and only think
     of the angels, and how very natural and beautiful kitchen-work
     is,--just what the angels would do, of course.

     It is the angel-aim and standard in an act that consecrates it. He
     who aims for perfectness in a trifle is trying to do that trifle
     holily. The _trier_ wears the halo, and therefore, the halo grows
     as quickly round the brows of peasant as of king. This aspiration
     to do perfectly,--is it not religion practicalized? If we use the
     name of God, is this not God's presence becoming actor in us? No
     need, then, of being "great" to share that aspiration and that
     presence. The smallest roadside pool has its water from heaven, and
     its gleam from the sun, and can hold the stars in its bosom, as
     well as the great ocean. Even so the humblest man or woman can live
     splendidly! That is the royal truth that we need to believe,--you
     and I who have no "mission," and no great sphere to move in. The
     universe is not quite complete without _my_ work well done. Have
     you ever read George Eliot's poem called "Stradivarius"?
     Stradivarius was the famous old violin-maker, whose violins, nearly
     two centuries old, are almost worth their weight in gold to-day.
     Says Stradivarius in the poem:

                     "If my hand slacked,
         I should rob God,--since He is the fullest good,--
         Leaving a blank instead of violins.
         _He_ could not make Antonio Stradivari's violins
         Without Antonio."

     That is just as true of us as of our greatest brothers. What, stand
     with slackened hands and fallen heart before the littleness of your
     service! Too little, is it, to be perfect in it? Would you, then,
     if you were Master, risk a greater treasure in the hands of such a
     man? Oh, there is no man, no woman, so small that they cannot make
     their life great by high endeavor; no sick crippled child on its
     bed that cannot fill a niche of service _that_ way in the world.
     This is the beginning of all gospels,--that the kingdom of heaven
     is at hand just where _we_ are. It is just as near us as our work is,
     for the gate of heaven for each soul lies in the endeavor to do
     that work perfectly.

     But to bend this talk back to the word with which we started: will
     this striving for perfection in the little thing give "culture"?
     Have you ever watched such striving in operation? Have you never
     met humble men and women who read little, who knew little, yet who
     had a certain fascination as of fineness lurking about them? Know
     them, and you are likely to find them persons who have put so much
     thought and honesty and conscientious trying into their common
     work--it may be sweeping rooms, or planing boards, or painting
     walls--have put their ideals so long, so constantly, so lovingly
     into that common work of theirs, that finally these qualities have
     come to permeate not their work only, but so much of their being
     that they are fine-fibred within, even if on the outside the rough
     bark clings. Without being schooled, they are apt to instinctively
     detect a sham,--one test of culture. Without haunting the
     drawing-rooms, they are likely to have manners of quaint grace and
     graciousness,--another test of culture. Without the
     singing-lessons, their tones are apt to be gentle,--another test of
     culture. Without knowing anything about Art, so called, they know
     and love the best in _one_ thing,--are artists in their own little
     specialty of work. They make good company, these men and
     women,--why? Because, not having been able to realize their Ideal,
     they have idealized their Real, and thus in the depths of their
     nature have won true "culture."

     You know all beatitudes are based on something hard to do or to be.
     "Blessed are the meek": is it easy to be meek? "Blessed are the
     pure in heart": is that so very easy? "Blessed are they who mourn."
     "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst--who _starve_--after
     righteousness." So this new beatitude by its hardness only falls
     into line with all the rest. A third time and heartily I say
     it,--"Blessed be Drudgery!" For thrice it blesses us: it gives us
     the fundamental qualities of manhood and womanhood; it gives us
     success in the thing we have to do; and it makes us, if we choose,
     artists,--artists within, whatever our outward work may be.
     _Blessed be Drudgery_,--the secret of all culture!

And now, as a final step in this preliminary study, a step which shall
again give practice in both forms of expression, you are to choose from
your vital interests one concerning which you hold intense convictions.
First you are to set forth these convictions in the strongest piece of
persuasive prose you can command: this is work for your study. Second,
you are to summon all your vocal resources, and, with the one idea of
persuading us of the truth of your convictions, make to us for them a
direct appeal: this work is for the class-room. So shall we have
combined the preliminary study in vocal expression of _direct appeal_
with the preliminary study in verbal expression of _persuasion_.



FIRST STUDY

TO ESTABLISH VITALITY IN THINKING


Among the axioms of our subject-matter already formulated stands this
one: reading aloud is thinking aloud. If reading aloud is thinking aloud
the quality of the reading will depend, of course, upon the quality of
the thinking. But while clear thinking does not assure lucid reading
(since there are other elements in the problem), the converse is true,
that good reading implies clear thinking. For it is impossible to read
convincingly unless one is thinking vitally, which brings us to the
object of this study: _To Establish Vitality in Thinking._

Do you know what it means to think vitally in reading? It means a
concentration of your mind upon the thought before you until you,
yourself, seem to be thinking that thought for the first time,--until
you seem to be bringing forth a thought of your own conception instead
of rethinking the conception of another's mind. Is this a familiar
experience? It must become one if you are to become a true interpreter.
For the true interpreter is first of all the keen thinker.

We do not say of the great actor, after a performance of Hamlet, "He
played Hamlet wonderfully!" We say, rather, "He was Hamlet." The great
actor creates the part he plays each time he plays it. He creates the
part by living the part. Even in the same way the great interpreter
creates the thought he voices through a concentration of mind which
appropriates the thought and makes it his own to voice.

We have said that the greatest need of the human heart is for
self-expression. To satisfy the heart that act of expression must be a
creative act. True interpretation is creative expression. The
fundamental step toward creative expression is complete possession of
the thought to be expressed. Complete possession depends upon your power
to concentrate your mind upon a thought until it is your own. The first
step in interpretation is to establish vitality in thinking.

The new arithmetic trains the mind to see the relation behind the
mathematical statement of the relation. The child who "says his tables"
to-day is not repeating by rote words and figures, he is realizing vital
relations, he is developing a sense of proportion, he is learning to
think vitally. The old method in arithmetic left the statement "two
times one is two" a cold mathematical fact; the new method makes it a
key to living relations. One in the "tables" of the child in mathematics
to-day stands for a definite object, and the statement "two times one is
two" is an interesting and significant fact. The statement through
imaginative thinking, which is vital thinking, may be invested with
personal significance and become a personally interesting fact. Try it!
Say your "tables of one" up to ten times one is ten, _thinking vitally_,
which means getting behind the statement of the relation to the relation
itself, behind the sign to the thing signified. Let your "one" stand
each time for something you desire--as a small boy might desire pieces
of candy, or a miser "pieces of eight"; now think vitally in this way
and say, "Ten times one is ten!" What has happened to the mathematical
fact? It has become a living expression!

This might be called _interpreting_ our mathematics. Why not? That is
the surest way to master them! It is the surest way to mastery of any
subject, of any art, of Life itself. It is the only real way. But we
have leaped from the part to the whole, from the study of a detail to an
application of the law governing the whole subject. Back we must go to
our special point. If we can turn the statement of a cold mathematical
fact into the expression of a living vital relation by thinking vitally,
so investing the fact with personal significance and making it our own,
what can we not do with the more easily appropriated thought which poets
and philosophers and play-writers have given us, and with which rests
our especial concern as interpreters? Let us see what we can do! But
first there is one other point to be considered in this question of
_vital thinking_. We have spoken of one aspect of the process of the
mind in thinking,--the _concentration_ upon an idea until it is one's
own. But there is the passing of the mind from idea to idea to be noted.
This phase the psychologists name "transition." This alternate
concentration and transition constitutes the "pulsing of the mind" in
reading, which Doctor Curry discusses so vitally in his _Lessons in
Vocal Expression_. Now transition is an inevitable result of
concentration and follows it as naturally as expiration follows
inspiration. This being true, we need only note, in our study of the
process of the mind in reading aloud, the question of transition,
letting it follow naturally the fundamental act of concentration which
is our chief concern. If the intense concentration is accomplished the
clean transition will follow. In choosing material which shall require
for adequate interpretation this intense concentration of the mind, we
find our source, of course, to be the literature of thought rather than
the literature of feeling. The literary form which seems to furnish the
best examples for our purpose at this point is the essay where the
appeal is, primarily, at least, an intellectual appeal. For my own
suggestive analysis and for our preliminary study in vital thinking I
have chosen paragraphs from Emerson's essays because Emerson's almost
every paragraph is an essay in miniature. The story is told of the
gentle seer that once in the midst of a lecture he dropped all the pages
of his manuscript over the front of the pulpit. The incident disturbed
his auditors greatly until they saw Mr. Emerson gather up the leaves and
without any effort at rearrangement in the old order begin to read as
though nothing had happened. Every sentence was almost equally pertinent
to the main theme, and suffered not from a new juxtaposition. So in
printing extracts from this source we feel no sense of incompleteness.


SUGGESTIVE ANALYSIS

Let us read this passage from Emerson's _Experience_:

     To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of
     the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom. It
     is not the part of men, but of fanatics--or of mathematicians, if
     you will--to say that, the shortness of life considered, it is not
     worth caring whether for so short a duration we were sprawling in
     want or sitting high. Since our office is with moments, let us
     husband them. Five minutes of to-day are worth as much to me as
     five minutes in the next millennium. Let us be poised, and wise,
     and our own, to-day. I settle myself ever the firmer in the creed
     that we should not postpone and refer and wish, but do broad
     justice where we are, by whomsoever we deal with, accepting our
     actual companions and circumstances, however humble or odious, as
     the mystic officials to whom the universe has delegated its whole
     pleasure for us.

If you do not think your way through this paragraph clearly, concisely,
logically, intensely, when you read it aloud your voice will betray you.
In what way? Your tone will lack resonance, your speech will lack
precision, your pitch will be monotonous, your touch will be uncertain,
your inflections will be indefinite. Your reading will be unconvincing,
because it will fail in lucidity and variety. In approaching this
passage let us study first the question of proper emphasis. What is
emphasis? The dictionaries tell us that, in delivery, it is a special
stress of the voice on a given word. But we must use it in a broader
sense than this. To emphasize a word is not merely to put a special
stress of the voice upon that word. Such an attack might only make the
word conspicuous and so defeat the aim of true emphasis. True emphasis
is the art of voicing the words in a phrase so that they shall assume a
right relation to one another and, so related, best suggest the thought
of which they are the symbols. I do not emphasize one word in a phrase
and not the others. I simply vary my stress upon each word, in order to
gain the proper perspective for the whole sentence. Just so, in a
picture, I make one object stand out, and others fall into the
background, by drawing or painting them in proper relation to one
another. I may use any or all of the "elements of vocal expression" to
give that proper relation of values to the words in a single phrase. I
may pause, change my pitch, vary my inflection, and alter my
tone-color, in order to give a single word its full value. Let us try
experiments in emphasis with some isolated sentences before analyzing
the longer passage. Here is one of Robert Louis Stevenson's beautifully
wrought periods:

    "Every man has a sane spot somewhere."

Let us vary, vocally, the relative values of the words in this sentence,
and study the effect upon the character of the thought. Let us look upon
the statement as a theme for discussion. With a pause before the second
word, "man," a lift of the voice on that word, a whimsical turn of the
tone, and a significant inflection, we may convert an innocent statement
of fact into an incendiary question for debate on the comparative sanity
of the sexes. A plea for endless faith and charity becomes a back-handed
criticism of women. Now let us read the sentence, giving it its true
meaning. "Every man has a sane spot somewhere." Let your voice make of
the statement a plea, by dwelling a bit on the first word and again on
the last word. Hyphenate the first two words (they really stand for one
idea). Compound also the words "sane" and "spot." Lift them as a single
word above the rest of the sentence. Now put "somewhere" a little higher
still above the level of the rest of the sentence. So, only, have we the
true import of this group of words:

                                       some

                                           where.

                       sane-spot

    Every-

          man has a

Analyze the rest of these sentences from Stevenson in the same way, and
experiment with them vocally.

     That is never a bad wind that blows where we want to go.

     For truth that is suppressed by friends is the readiest weapon of
     the enemy.

     Some strand of our own misdoing is involved in every quarrel.

     Drama is the poetry of conduct, romance the poetry of circumstance.

     You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometime fight it out
     or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?

     An aim in life is the only fortune worth the finding; and it is not
     to be found in foreign lands, but in the heart itself.

     The world was not made for us; it was made for ten hundred millions
     of me, all different from each other and from us; there's no royal
     road, we just have to sclamber and tumble.

Now, once more, and this time with detailed analysis, let us study
the passage from _Experience_. Let us first consider for a moment
some of the words which make this passage powerful: _finish_,
_journey's-end_, _good hours_, _wisdom_, _fanatics_, _mathematicians_,
_sprawling-in-want_, _sitting-high_, _firmer_, _poised_, _postpone_,
_justice_, _humble_, _odious_, _mystic_, _pleasure_. When spoken with a
keen sense of its inherent meaning, with full appreciation of its form,
and with delight in molding it, how efficient each one of these words
becomes! When shall we, as a people, learn reverence for the words which
make up our language--reverence that shall make us ashamed to mangle
words, offering as our excuse that we are "Westerners" or "Southerners"
or from New York or New England or Indiana. The clear-cut thought calls
for the clean-cut speech. Let us say these words over and over until
they assume full value. And now we pass from words to groups of words.
The mind and the tone must move progressively through the first three
phrases which make up this first sentence: "To finish the moment, to
find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest
number of good hours, is wisdom." The phrases must be held together by
an almost imperceptible suspension and upward reach of the voice at the
end of each group of words, and yet each phrase must be allowed to be
momentarily complete. Read the sentence, making each phrase a
conclusion, and then again letting each phrase look forward to the next.
Each phrase is really a substantive, looking forward to its predicate
through a second substantive which is a little more vital than the
first, and again through a third substantive which is a little more
vital than either of the other two. Bring this out in reading the
sentence. The next sentence depends for its significance upon your
contrasting inflections of the three words "men," "fanatics," and
"mathematicians"; and again upon your sympathetic inflection of
"sprawling-in-want" and "sitting-high." "It is not the part of men, but
of fanatics--or of mathematicians, if you will--to say that, the
shortness of life considered, it is not worth caring whether for so
short a duration we were sprawling in want or sitting high." In your
utterance of these words can you make "men" MEN, and "fanatics"
_fanatics_, and consign "mathematicians" to the cold corner of human
affairs designed for them? Can you so inflect "sprawling in want" and
"sitting high" as to suggest a swamp and a mountain-top, or a frog and
an angel? Let your voice leap from the swamp to the mountain-top. Let it
climb. Now comes the swift, concise, admonitory sentence: "Since our
office is with moments, let us husband them." Pause before you speak the
word "husband," and _husband_ it. "Five minutes of to-day are worth as
much to me as five minutes in the next millennium." Make "five minutes
of to-day" one word, and accent the last syllable, thus:
five-minutes-of-_to-day_. Let the tone retard and take its time on the
last seven words. Now poise your tone for the next sentence. "Let us be
poised, and wise, and our own, to-day." The paragraph closes with a more
complex statement of the theme. Let your voice search out the meaning.
Let it settle down into the conclusion, and utter it convincingly. Give
a definite touch to the words which I shall put in italics. "I settle
myself ever _firmer_ in the _creed_ that we should not _postpone_ and
_refer_ and _wish_, but do _broad-justice_ where we _are_, by
_whomsoever_ we deal with, accepting our _actual_ companions and
circumstances, however _humble_ or _odious_, as the _mystic officials_
to whom the _universe_ has dedicated its _whole pleasure_ for _us_."

Analyze vocally the following paragraph:

     There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the
     conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that
     he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that
     though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing
     corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of
     ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in
     him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he
     can do, nor does he know until he has tried.... What I must do is
     all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally
     arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole
     distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder
     because you will always find those who think they know what is your
     duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after
     the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own;
     but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with
     perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.--_Self-Reliance._


SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION

By choosing as further material for vocal interpretation selections
which shall also be good examples for examination as to their literary
construction, we shall serve the double purpose of adapting our studies
in vocal interpretation to the uses of English composition.

The following selections are to be: first, read aloud (in class);
second, examined as to their literary construction (in class); third,
analyzed and reported upon as specimens of exposition and argumentation
(in the study).

     Exposition is an explanation, a setting forth, or an expounding. It
     is an attempt to render something plain, an effort to convey to the
     reader a train of thought which represents the conclusions of the
     writer upon a subject. The writer, it is at once evident, must be
     acquainted with the subject with which he deals. He is presuming to
     teach, and must be in a position which justifies him in so doing.
     He is prepared to write an exposition only when he is able, in
     regard to the topic in hand, to take frankly and unreservedly the
     attitude of a teacher.

     A teacher must have many good gifts and graces; and whoever else
     may fail to be well acquainted with a given lesson, he must have
     mastered it thoroughly. To teach he must first know. Whoever has
     taught understands how completely different is the attitude of the
     teacher from that of the pupil. While the pupil is hardly expected
     to be able to do more than reasonably well to understand the
     subject in hand, the teacher must be able to explain, to justify,
     to make clear relations, and to impart the whole matter. The pupil
     is excused with a sort of hearsay knowledge, but the teacher must
     have a vital experience of what he teaches. Especially must he be
     able to comprehend and to represent a subject as a whole. He is
     responsible for the student's being able in turn to co-ordinate
     facts and theories so as to produce unity; and it is therefore
     essential that he himself have power to hold and to make clear a
     continuous train of thought.

     The teacher, moreover, must have over his mind discipline so firm
     that he is not dependent upon moods. He must cover the wide
     difference between the train of thought which springs spontaneously
     in the mind and that which is laboriously worked out as a logical
     sequence of ideas relating to a subject forced upon the attention.
     The pupil may, to a certain extent, indulge the vagaries of his
     inclination, but the teacher must respond to the need of the
     moment. He must have trained his mind to give an intelligent
     judgment upon any matter presented to it. He is not equipped for
     instructing--nor is any individual ready for life--until he can
     command the resources of his inner self to the utmost. The trained
     person is one who can take a subject which may not at the outset
     especially appeal to him, which is full of complications, which is
     not in itself, perhaps, attractive, and can insist with himself
     that his mind shall master it thoroughly. He is able so to expend
     his whole mental strength, if need be, upon any necessary topic
     that the subject shall be examined, acquired, assimilated, and then
     shall be so organized, so illumined, and so presented that others
     shall be instructed. The mind of the teacher, in a word, is so
     disciplined that it will work when it is ordered.

     The ideal state of mind for him who wishes to communicate knowledge
     is that of being absolute master of all its resources. Many who
     possess no inconsiderable powers of thought are practically unable
     to command the best powers of their intelligence. They depend upon
     the whim of the moment, upon some outward pressure or inward
     impulse, to arouse their intellect. They fail to reflect that while
     any ordinary intellect naturally forms some opinion upon any
     subject which interests it, only the trained mind is able to judge
     clearly and lucidly of an indifferent or uninteresting matter. In
     this mastery of thought lies the difference between the sterile and
     the productive mind. Only one brain in a thousand has not the
     disposition to shirk work if it is allowed, and every student has
     moments when his intelligence seems almost to act like a spoiled
     child that hates to get up when called on a cold morning. To
     establish the power of the will over the intellect is the object of
     education, and the ability to exercise this power is what is meant
     by the proper use of the word "cultivation."

     The mental process of the cultivated thinker when considering any
     subject is likely to be: first, to become sure of his terms; then,
     clearly to set before his mind the facts and conditions; and,
     lastly, to make the possible and resulting deductions and
     conclusions. This gives a hint, and indeed practically affords a
     rule for the writer of exposition.

     An exposition, broadly speaking, may be said to consist of three
     steps which nearly correspond to the three steps of mental
     activity just set down: the Definition, the Statement, and the
     Inference.

     Definition is making clear to self or to the reader what is under
     discussion.

     Statement is the setting forth of whatever is to be said of the
     facts, conditions, relations, and so on, which it is the object of
     the exposition to make clear.

     Inference is the conclusion or conclusions drawn.

     These three parts will seldom be found as formal divisions in any
     ordinary exposition, but in some sort they are always present; and
     the writer must at least have them clear in his mind if he hopes to
     render his work well ordered, comprehensive, and symmetrical.
     Together they are woven as the strands which give a firmness of
     texture to the whole.

     To illustrate the bearing of this analysis on the composition of an
     exposition, we may imagine that a student has been required to
     write a theme on "The Influence of College Life." He has first to
     concern himself with definition. He must decide what he means by
     college life as a molding influence; whether its intellectual, its
     social, its moral aspects, or all these. He must consider, too,
     whether he is to deal with the effect upon specific characters or
     upon types; whether upon boys during the time they are in college
     or as a training for after life; whether at a special institution
     or as the result of any college. If he limits himself to one phase
     of influence, he must in the same way decide fully in what sense
     he intends to treat that phase. If he is to consider the social
     effect of college life, for instance, he has to define for himself
     the sense in which he will use the word "social." Is it to mean
     simply formal society, adaptation to the more conventional and
     exclusive forms of human intercourse, or to imply all that renders
     a man more self-poised, more flexible, and more adaptable in any
     relations with his fellows? If, on the other hand, it is the
     intellectual influence of college life which is to be studied, the
     first step is to decide what is to be considered for this purpose
     the range of the term "intellectual"; whether it is to be taken to
     mean the mere acquirement of information; whether it has relation
     to acquirement or to modification of mental conditions; whether it
     means change in the mind in the way of development or of
     modification; whether it shall be applied to an alteration in the
     student's attitude toward knowledge or toward life in general. All
     this is in the line of definition, and it is naturally connected
     with the statement of whatever facts bear upon the topic under
     discussion.

     Statement has largely to do with fact. Theory belongs rather to
     whatever inference is part of an exposition. In the statement will
     come the observations of the writer; whatever he knows of general
     conditions at college, or such individual examples as bear upon the
     question in hand. From these he will inevitably draw some
     conclusions, and the value of the exposition will depend upon the
     reasonableness and convincingness of these inferences, as these
     will, in turn, depend upon the clearness of the writer's original
     knowledge in regard to his intentions and the logic of his
     statements.

     Composition, it should be remembered, is the art of communicating
     to others what is in the mind of the writer. To write without
     having the subject abundantly in mind is to invite the reader to a
     Barmecide feast of empty dishes. The necessity of insisting upon
     such particulars as those just given of the process of making an
     exposition arises from the stubborn idea of the untrained student
     that writing is something done with paper and ink. It is, on the
     contrary, something which is done with brains; it is less putting
     things on paper than it is thinking things out in the mind.

     Before leaving the illustration of a theme on the influence of
     college life we may glance a moment more at the difficulty, even
     with so simple a subject, of attaining perfect clarity of thinking.
     One of the first things which must be determined is the essential
     difference of life in a college from ordinary existence. If the
     subject be given out to a class of students half the themes handed
     in will begin with a remark upon the great change which comes to a
     boy who finds himself for the first time freed from the restraints
     of home. The moment this idea is presented to the mind it is to be
     looked at, not as something with which to fill so much paper, but
     as a stepping-stone toward ideas beyond. It is necessary, for
     instance, to determine the distinctions between freedom at college
     and freedom elsewhere; to decide wherein lie the differences in
     the conditions which surround a boy in a university and one who
     escapes from the restrictions of home by going away to live in a
     city or in a country village, on shipboard or in the army. To be of
     value, every thought in an exposition must have been tested by a
     comparison with allied ideas as wide and as exhaustive as the
     thinker is equal to making.

     To learn to think is, after all, the prime essential in
     exposition-writing, and the beginning of thought is the realization
     of what is already known. The student who patiently examines his
     views on the subject of which he is to write, who determines to
     discover exactly how much he knows and what is the relative
     importance of each of his opinions, is likely soon to come to find
     that he is considering the theme chosen not only deeply, but with
     tangible results. The value of any exposition, to sum the matter up
     in a word, rests primarily and chiefly on the thoroughness of the
     thought which produces it.--ARLO BATES.[3]

     [3] This selection from Prof. Arlo Bates's _Talks on Writing
     English_ is printed by permission of the author and his publishers,
     Houghton Mifflin Company.

     The _Idylls of the King_ has been called a quasi-epic. Departing
     from the conventional epic form by its lack of a closely continuous
     narrative, it has yet that lofty manner and underlying unity of
     design which leads us to class it with the epics, at least, in the
     essentials. It consists of a series of chivalric legends, taken
     chiefly from the _Morte d'Arthur_ of Sir Thomas Malory, grouped so
     as to exhibit the establishment, the greatness, and the downfall of
     an ideal kingdom of righteousness among men. "The Coming of
     Arthur," the ideal ruler, shows us the setting up of this kingdom.
     Before this was disorder, great tracts of wilderness,

         Wherein the beast was ever more and more,
         But man was less and less.

     Arthur slays the beast and fells the forest, and the old order
     changes to give place to new. Then the song of Arthur's knights
     rises, a majestic chorus of triumph:

         Clang battle-axe and clash brand. Let the king reign.

     In "Gareth and Lynette" the newly established kingdom is seen doing
     its work among men. Arthur, enthroned in his great hall, dispenses
     impartial justice. The knights

         Ride abroad redressing human wrongs.

     The allegory shows us, in Gareth's contests with the knights "that
     have no law nor King," the contest of the soul with the temptations
     that at different periods of life successively attack it:

         The war of Time against the soul of man.

     Then follow the "Idylls," which trace the entrance and growth of an
     element of sin and discord, which, spreading, pulls down into ruin
     that "fellowship of noble knights," "which are an image of the
     mighty world." The purity of the ideal kingdom is fouled, almost at
     its source, by the guilty love of Lancelot and the Queen. Among
     some the contagion spreads; while others, in an extremity of
     protest, start in quest of the Holy Grail, leaving the duty at hand
     for mystical visions. Man cannot bring down heaven to earth; he
     cannot sanctify the mass of men by his own rapturous anticipations;
     he cannot safely neglect the preliminary stages of progress
     appointed for the race; he "may not wander from the allotted field
     before his work be done."

     So by impurity and by impatience the rift in the kingdom widens,
     and in "The Last Tournament," in the stillness before the impending
     doom, we hear the shrill voice of Dagonet railing at the King, who
     thinks himself as God, that he can make

             Honey from hornet-combs
         And men from beasts.

     In "Guinevere," unequaled elsewhere in the "Idylls" in pure poetry,
     the blow falls; at length, in the concluding poem, Arthur passes to
     the isle of Avilion, and once more

         The old order changeth, yielding place to new.

     Tennyson himself tells us that in this, his longest poem, he has
     meant to shadow "sense at war with soul," the struggle in the
     individual and in the race, between that body which links us with
     the brute and the soul which makes us part of a spiritual order.
     But the mastery of the higher over the lower is only obtained
     through many seeming failures. Wounded and defeated, the King
     exclaims:

         For I, being simple, thought to work His will,
         And have but stricken with the sword in vain;
         And all whereon I lean'd, in wife and friend,
         Is traitor to my peace, and all my realm
         _Reels back into the beast_, and is no more.

     But he also half perceives the truth which it is the poet's purpose
     to suggest to us. It is short-sighted to expect the immediate
     sanctification of the race; if we are disheartened, striving to
     "work His will," it is because "we see not the close." It is
     impossible that Arthur's work should end in failure--departing, he
     declares, "I pass, but shall not die," and when his grievous wound
     is healed, he will return. The _Idylls of the King_ is thus the
     epic of evolution in application to the progress of human society.
     In it the teachings of "In Memoriam" assume a narrative form.

         Move upward, working out the beast,

     may be taken as a brief statement of its theme: and we read in it
     the belief in the tendency upward and an assurance of ultimate
     triumph:

         Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
             Will be the final goal of ill,
             To pangs of nature, sins of will,
         Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;

         That nothing walks with aimless feet,
             That not one life shall be destroyed,
             Or cast as rubbish to the void
         When God hath made the pile complete.

                                           --PANCOAST.[4]


[4] Reprinted by permission from Pancoast's _Introduction to English
Literature_. Copyright, 1907, by Henry Holt and Company.

As an interlude study which shall look back to the step we have just
taken, and forward to the one we are about to take, let us test our
growth in _vitality in thinking_ and our need of _intelligence in
feeling_, by voicing the following selections from didactic poetry. This
form affords the best exercise in both activities because it makes a
double appeal, and so a double demand upon the interpreter--an appeal
through form to emotion, through aim to intelligence, and through
message and atmosphere to both. I have chosen examples of this form in
which the beauty and fascination of meter, rhythm, and rhyme, and the
didactic nature of the thought do not seem to overbalance each other. If
either should predominate you must, by your interpretation, strike the
balance. In reading Robert Browning's _Rabbi Ben Ezra_ (from which I
shall quote but a few verses) you must carry to your auditor the full
import of the philosophy, but in doing so you must not lose the beauty
of the verse in which the poet has set it.

    RABBI BEN EZRA

    Grow old along with me!
    The best is yet to be,
      The last of life, for which the first was made:
    Our times are in His hand
    Who saith, "A whole I planned,
      Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!"

    Not that, amassing flowers,
    Youth sighed, "Which rose make ours,
      Which lily leave and then as best recall?"
    Not that, admiring stars,
    It yearned, "Nor Jove, nor Mars;
      Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends them all!"

    Not for such hopes and fears
    Annulling youth's brief years,
      Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark!
    Rather I prize the doubt
    Low kinds exist without,
      Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Then, welcome each rebuff
    That turns earth's smoothness rough,
      Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
    Be our joys three-parts pain!
    Strive and hold cheap the strain,
      Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!

    For thence--a paradox
    Which comforts while it mocks--
      Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail:
    What I aspired to be,
    And was not, comforts me:
      A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Now, who shall arbitrate?
    Ten men love what I hate,
      Shun what I follow, slight what I receive;
    Ten, who in ears and eyes
    Match me: we all surmise,
      They, this thing, and I, that: whom shall my soul believe?

    Not on the vulgar mass
    Called "work," must sentence pass,
      Things done, that took the eye and had the price;
    O'er which, from level stand,
    The low world laid its hand,
      Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice:

    But all, the world's coarse thumb
    And finger failed to plumb,
      So passed in making up the main account:
    All instincts immature,
    All purposes unsure,
      That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount:

    Thoughts hardly to be packed
    Into a narrow act,
      Fancies that broke through language and escaped;
    All I could never be,
    All, men ignored in me,
      This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                           --BROWNING.


    FORBEARANCE

    Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?
    Loved the wood-rose, and left it on its stalk?
    At rich men's tables eaten bread and pulse?
    Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust?
    And loved so well a high behavior,
    In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained,
    Nobility more nobly to repay?
    O, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!


    EACH AND ALL

    Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown
    Of thee from the hill-top looking down;
    The heifer that lows in the upland farm,
    Far-heard, lows not thine ear to charm;
    The sexton, tolling his bell at noon,
    Deems not that great Napoleon
    Stops his horse and lists with delight,
    Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine height;
    Nor knowest thou what argument
    Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent.
    All are needed by each one;
    Nothing is fair or good alone.
    I thought the sparrow's note from heaven,
    Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
    I brought him home, in his nest, at even;
    He sings the song, but it cheers not now,
    For I did not bring home the river and sky;--
    He sang to my ear,--they sang to my eye.
    The delicate shells lay on the shore;
    The bubbles of the latest wave
    Fresh pearls to their enamel gave,
    And the bellowing of the savage sea
    Greeted their safe escape to me.
    I wiped away the weeds and foam,
    I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
    But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
    Had left their beauty on the shore
    With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar.
    The lover watched his graceful maid,
    As 'mid the virgin train she strayed,
    Nor knew her beauty's best attire
    Was woven still by the snow-white choir.
    At last she came to his hermitage,
    Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage;--
    The gay enchantment was undone,
    A gentle wife, but fairy none.
    Then I said, "I covet truth;
    Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat;
    I leave it behind with the games of youth":--
    As I spoke, beneath my feet
    The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
    Running over the club-moss burrs;
    I inhaled the violet's breath;
    Around me stood the oaks and firs;
    Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground;
    Over me soared the eternal sky,
    Full of light and of deity;
    Again I saw, again I heard,
    The rolling river, the morning bird;--
    Beauty through my senses stole;
    I yielded myself to the perfect whole.

                                           --EMERSON.

As a final step in this study which has for its aim an increase in your
power to _think vitally_ you are to choose from the "great heap of your
knowledge" a subject about which you have sufficient understanding and
enthusiasm to justify your discussion of it, and with this as a topic
you are "to unmuzzle your wisdom" in the form of _exposition_ or
_argumentation_.



SECOND STUDY


TO ESTABLISH INTELLIGENCE IN FEELING

Art is in bondage in this country: its internal polity to the
temperamental ideal; its external polity to the commercial ideal.
Business and social life are in the same bondage. In music, in drama, in
letters, in society, and in trade we permit personality to exploit
itself for commercial purposes. The result is either chaotic or
calculated expression on every side. When temperament seeks restraint in
technique, and policy, whether business or social, seeks freedom in
service, then shall we have that balanced expression in art, in society,
and in trade which should proceed from the American personality and
distinguish American life.

It may seem a far cry from a comment upon American life to the subject
of this second study--_intelligence in feeling_. Carry the idea of
balanced expression from the introduction to the body of this exposition
and the transition is not difficult to make.

"Wonderful technique, but no heart in her singing!" "Tremendous
temperament, but no technique!" "She moves me profoundly, but oh, what a
method!" "Her instrument is flawless, but she leaves me absolutely
unmoved." Have you ever heard such comment, or made such comment, or
been the subject of like comment? Diagnosis of the case, whether it be
yours or another's, should be the same--lack of poise in expression,
producing the undesirable effect upon the auditor of no emotion at all,
or of unintelligent emotion. To determine just what we mean by
intelligent emotion is our first problem for this study.

An experience I had in visiting a class in interpretation in a
well-known school of oratory some years ago will illustrate the point.
The selection for interpretation was the prelude to the first part of
_The Vision of Sir Launfal_.

    "And what is so rare as a day in June?
    Then, if ever, come perfect days;
    Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
    And over it softly her warm ear lays; ..."

The work was well under way when I entered the class-room. My entrance
did not disturb the expression on the face of the student who was "up
before" the class. A Malvolio smile was never more deliciously
indelible. I thought at first my request to see some work in
interpretation had been mistaken and I had been ushered into a class in
facial gymnastics. Then I concluded that Mr. Lowell's poem was being
employed as text for an exercise in smiling. Finally the awful truth
came upon me that this teacher of interpretation was seriously
attempting to secure from her pupils an expression which should suggest
the spirit of the June day by asking them to assume the outward sign of
joy known as smiling. The result was a ghastly series of facial
contortions, which left at least one auditor's day as bleak as the
bleakest December. No intelligent feeling can be induced in interpreter
or auditor by assuming the outward sign of an inward emotion. Some of
you are recalling Mr. James's _talk to students_, on the reflex theory
of emotion, and are being confused at this point. Let us stop and
straighten out the confusion. Mr. James says:

"Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go
together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct
control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is
not.

"Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous
cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, to look round cheerfully,
and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. If such
conduct does not make you soon feel cheerful, nothing else on that
occasion can. So to feel brave, act as if we _were_ brave, use all our
will to that end, and a courage-fit will very likely replace the fit of
fear."

The application of this principle to the reading of these lines would
seem to justify the method the teacher was pursuing. A smile is
acceptedly the indication of happy emotion, the outward symbol of inward
rejoicing or joy. The June day is full of joyful emotion,--the joy of
awakening life. Applying Mr. James's theory, a legitimate way to induce
the inward emotion would seem to be to assume the outward sign. But wait
a moment. Let us look to our premises. Mr. Lanier, who sings of Nature
with joyful understanding, cries in _Sunrise_:

    "Tell me, sweet burly-bark'd, man-bodied Tree
    That mine arms in the dark are embracing, dost know
    From what fount are these tears at thy feet which flow?
    They rise not from reason, but deeper inconsequent deeps.
    Reason's not one that weeps.
    What logic of greeting lies
    Betwixt dear over-beautiful trees and the rain of the eyes?"

Here is a great master of verbal expression whose inward joy finds its
outward symbol not in a smile but in a tear. So you and I may respond to
Mr. Lowell's "high tide of the year" with smiles or with tears, with
bowed head and closed eyes, or with eyes wide and head raised to meet
the returning flood of life.

The effect upon me of the beauty of this day as Mr. Lowell has painted
it, my personal emotional response is interesting psychology, but is not
my concern as an interpreter. My own emotion and its personal response
belong to my preparatory interpretative efforts in the study; but when
the interpretation is ready for the audience-room, the emotion must be
assimilated into the interpretative act and appear only as part of the
illumination of the bit of life I am presenting.

The object of all great art, whether creative or interpretative, is not
to exploit the personality of the artist, but to disclose at some point
the personality of the very God himself, which is life. The revelation
not of personal emotion but of universal life is the legitimate aim of
all artistic effort.

Emotional response will accompany every vital mental conception.
Abandonment to that response is a legitimate and necessary part of full
comprehension. But such abandonment, as I have said, belongs to our
preparation for expression. Such abandonment must not be taken out of
the study on to the stage. No temperamental expression along any line is
fit for the public until it is controlled by technique, the technique
which has been worked out by the masters of every art, not excluding the
art of living.

It is not the effect of June upon you I want from your interpretation,
it is the spirit of June itself. You must let me have my own emotion.
Your emotional response was the result of your mental concept; mine, to
be intelligent, must find the same impulse. If you impose your own
emotion upon me mine will be merely an unintelligent reflection of
yours. Taking as our ideal of the interpreter, the absolutely pure
medium, bars out every manifestation which calls attention to the
interpreter, and so interferes with the direct message.

"The natural form of expression which literature takes when it passes
beyond the normal powers of prose, is lyric poetry. When your feelings
rise beyond a certain degree of stress you need the stronger beat and
vibration of verse; to express the highest joy or the deepest grief
poetry is your natural instrument." Again corroborated in our choice of
direction in study by Mr. Gardiner, let us turn for "material" in the
establishment of _intelligence in emotion_, to the most intensive type
of the literature of feeling,--lyric poetry.

"Every now and then a man will come who will reduce to words--as Mr.
Ruskin has done--some impression of vivid pleasure which has never been
reduced to words before. It is only the great master who makes these
advances; by studying his works you may perhaps come somewhere near the
mark that he has set." This further word from the same paragraph should
influence us to pause with Mr. Ruskin's poetry in prose form for a brief
study on our way to the lyrics of Wordsworth and Shelley and Keats, a
song from Shakespeare, and some few from the rare, more modern
lyricists. I shall trust you to this by-path under the guidance of _The
Forms of Prose Literature_, where you will find passages from such
masters of prose as Mr. Ruskin and Mr. Stevenson--passages of surpassing
lyric beauty which shall furnish models for your correlated study in
Description.


SUGGESTIVE ANALYSIS

I have chosen for suggestive analysis of the lyric, Shelley's ode _To a
Skylark_. I shall analyze in detail only the first five stanzas:

          Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
            Bird thou never wert,
          That from heaven, or near it
            Pourest thy full heart
    In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

          Higher still and higher
            From the earth thou springest,
          Like a cloud of fire
            The blue deep thou wingest,
    And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

          In the golden lightning
            Of the sunken sun
          O'er which clouds are brightening,
            Thou dost float and run,
    Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

          The pale purple even
            Melts around thy flight;
          Like a star of heaven
            In the broad daylight
    Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

          Keen as are the arrows
            Of that silver sphere
          Whose intense lamp narrows
            In the white dawn clear,
    Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

How shall we create an atmosphere for the reading of these verses! How
can we catch the spirit of the creator of them! Shall we ever feel ready
to voice that first line? Do you know Jules Breton's picture _The Lark_?
Do you love it? Go, then, and stand before it, actually or in
imagination. Let something of the spirit which informs that lovely
child, lifting her eyes, her head in an attitude of listening rapture,
steal over you. I know her power. I have tested it. In reading the
"Skylark" with a class of boys and girls from twelve to fourteen years
old, I tried the experiment. I happened to have with me a beautiful copy
of Breton's picture. I took it to the class-room. I wrote on the
blackboard verses of the poem and hung the picture over them. The
_picture_ taught them to read the poem. The eyes of the girl became
their teacher. I tried the experiment, with a private pupil in my
studio, with a somewhat different result. I had told her to bring a copy
of Shelley's poems to her next lesson. "Do you know the ode _To a
Skylark_?" I asked. "Yes," she said. A copy of Breton's picture hung on
the wall. "Before you open your book look at the picture," I said. She
obeyed. Her expression, always radiant, deepened its radiance. "Do you
know what the girl is doing?" I asked. "Oh yes, she is listening to the
skylark." "How do you know?" "I have heard the skylark sing." "I never
have," I said. "Read the poem to me." Now when _I_ read the "Skylark," I
see the girl in Jules Breton's picture, but I hear the voice of my
English pupil.

But if our apperceptive background fails to furnish a memory of the
identical sight and sound for our inspiring, it at least holds bird
notes and bird flights of great beauty, and we must call upon these for
the impulse to voice Shelley's apostrophe:

          Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
            Bird thou never wert,
          That from heaven, or near it
            Pourest thy full heart
    In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

An early autumn number of the _Atlantic Monthly_ for 1907 published a
poem by Mr. Ridgley Torrence, entitled _The Lesser Children_, or _A
Threnody at the Hunting Season_. The poem is worthy, in sentiment and
structure, to be set beside Shelley's ode. Let us compare with the
picture which the eighteenth-century poet has given us this one from our
modern song-writer:

    Who has not seen in the high gulf of light
    What, lower, was a bird, but now
    Is moored and altered quite
    Into an island of unshaded joy?
    To whom the mate below upon the bough
    Shouts once and brings him from his high employ.
    Yet speeding he forgot not of the cloud
    Where he from glory sprang and burned aloud,
    But took a little of the day,
    A little of the colored sky,
    And of the joy that would not stay
    He wove a song that cannot die.

Now let us study closely the first verse of the older poem. Spirit and
voice must soar in the first line, "Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!" The
two words "hail" and "blithe" are swift-winged words. Let them fly. Give
them their wings. Let them do all they are intended to do. The rhythm of
the whole poem is aspiring. Reverence the rhythm, but keep the thought
floating clear above it in the second line, "Bird thou never wert." With
the next two lines the tone must gather head to be poured forth in the
last line, "In profuse strains of unpremeditated art." Let us make
another comparative study. Set on the other side of this picture
Lowell's description of the "little bird" in his prologue to Sir
Launfal's vision:

    The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
      Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
    And lets his illumined being o'errun
      With the deluge of summer it receives.

The second verse of the "Skylark" demands a still higher flight of
imagination and tone. Let us try it.

          Higher still and higher
            From the earth thou springest,
          Like a cloud of fire
            The blue deep thou wingest,
    And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

Again all the words rise and float. Sing them over: _higher_, _higher_,
_springest_, _fire_, _wingest_, _singing_, _soar_, _soaring_, _singest_.
The reader must feel himself poised for flight in every word of the
first three verses. Why does the poet say cloud of fire? What is the
color of the skylark? And now the tone, which has been of a radiant hue
through these three verses, must soften a little in the first three
lines of the next verse--

    The pale purple even
      Melts around thy flight;--

glow gold again in the last three lines--

          Like a star of heaven
            In the broad daylight
    Thou art unseen, and yet I hear thy shrill delight--

and become the white of an incandescent light in the next verse--

          Keen as are the arrows
            Of that silver sphere
          Whose intense lamp narrows
            In the white dawn clear,
    Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

Do you not see that the secret of its beauty lies, for vocal
interpretation, in the color of tone and in the inflection of the words?
Say "unseen," dwelling on the second syllable; "shrill delight,"
directing _shrill_ over the head of _delight_; "keen," making it cleave
the air like an arrow; "silver sphere," suggesting a moonlit path across
water; "intense" and "narrows," letting the tone recede into the "white
dawn"; "see," with a vanishing stress; and "feel," with a deepening note
carried to the end. So we might go on through the twenty-one stanzas
which make up the poem.

Please analyze undirected the next two verses.

          All the earth and air
            With thy voice is loud,
          As, when night is bare,
            From one lonely cloud
    The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd.

          What thou art we know not;
            What is most like thee?
          From rainbow clouds there flow not
            Drops so bright to see
    As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

In reading the first lines of the next four verses we must avoid
monotony.

          Like a poet hidden
            In the light of thought,
          Singing hymns unbidden,
            Till the world is wrought
    To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

          Like a high-born maiden
            In a palace tower,
          Soothing her love-laden
            Soul in secret hour
    With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

          Like a glowworm golden
            In a dell of dew,
          Scattering unbeholden
            Its aerial hue
    Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:

          Like a rose embower'd
            In its own green leaves,
          By warm winds deflower'd,
            Till the scent it gives
    Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves.

Vary, if only for variety, the pitch on which you begin each of these
first lines. Let the first three words of the eighth verse, "like a
poet," ascend in pitch. Keep the voice level in the first line of the
ninth verse, "like a high-born maiden." Let the pitch fall in the first
words of the tenth stanza, "like a glowworm golden." And again keep the
tone level on the first line of the next stanza, "like a rose
embower'd." I leave to you the analysis of the rest of the poem:

          Sound of vernal showers
            On the twinkling grass,
          Rain-awaken'd flowers,
            All that ever was
    Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

          Teach us, sprite or bird,
            What sweet thoughts are thine:
          I have never heard
            Praise of love or wine
    That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

          Chorus hymeneal
            Or triumphal chaunt
          Match'd with thine, would be all
            But an empty vaunt--
    A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

          What objects are the fountains
            Of thy happy strain?
          What field, or waves, or mountains?
            What shapes of sky or plain?
    What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

          With thy clear, keen joyance
            Languor cannot be:
          Shadow of annoyance
            Never came near thee:
    Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

          Waking or asleep
            Thou of death must deem
          Things more true and deep
            Than we mortals dream,
    Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

          We look before and after,
            And pine for what is not:
          Our sincerest laughter
            With some pain is fraught;
    Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

          Yet if we could scorn
            Hate and pride and fear;
          If we were things born
            Not to shed a tear,
    I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

          Better than all measures
            Of delightful sound,
          Better than all treasures
            That in books are found,
    Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

          Teach me half the gladness
            That thy brain must know,
          Such harmonious madness
            From my lips would flow,
    The world should listen then, as I am listening now!

                                           --SHELLEY.


SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION

The following selections from lyric poetry are designed to give the
voice exercise in the expression of varied emotions.

I

    THE DAFFODILS

    I wander'd lonely as a cloud
      That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
      A host of golden daffodils,
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
      And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretch'd in never-ending line
      Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced, but they
      Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:--
    A Poet could not but be gay
      In such a jocund company!
    I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought;

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
      In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
      Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

                                           --WORDSWORTH.

II

    BY THE SEA

    It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
    The holy time is quiet as a Nun
    Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
    Is sinking down in its tranquillity;

    The gentleness of heaven is on the Sea:
    Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
    And doth with his eternal motion make
    A sound like thunder--everlastingly.

    Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me here,
    If thou appear untouch'd by solemn thought
    Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
    Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year,
    And worship'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
    God being with thee when we know it not.

                                           --WORDSWORTH.

III

    TO THE CUCKOO

    O blithe new-comer! I have heard,
      I hear thee and rejoice:
    O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,
      Or but a wandering Voice?

    While I am lying on the grass
      Thy twofold shout I hear;
    From hill to hill it seems to pass,
      At once far off and near.

    Though babbling only to the vale
      Of sunshine and of flowers,
    Thou bringest unto me a tale
      Of visionary hours.

    Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
      Even yet thou art to me
    No bird, but an invisible thing,
      A voice, a mystery;

    The same whom in my school-boy days
      I listen'd to; that Cry
    Which made me look a thousand ways
      In bush, and tree, and sky.

    To seek thee did I often rove
      Through woods and on the green;
    And thou wert still a hope, a love,
      Still long'd for, never seen!

    And I can listen to thee yet,
      Can lie upon the plain
    And listen, till I do beget
      That golden time again.

    O blesséd Bird! the earth we pace
      Again appears to be
    An unsubstantial, faery place,
      That is fit home for Thee!

                                           --WORDSWORTH.

IV

    ODE TO THE WEST WIND

    O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
      Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
    Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
      Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
    Pestilence-stricken multitudes! O thou
      Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
    The wingéd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
      Each like a corpse within its grave, until
    Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
      Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
    (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
      With living hues and odours plain and hill:
    Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
      Destroyer and Preserver; Hear, oh hear!

    Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
      Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
    Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean,
      Angels of rain and lightning! there are spread
    On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
      Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
    Of some fierce Maenad, ev'n from the dim verge
      Of the horizon to the zenith's height--
    The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge
      Of the dying year, to which this closing night
    Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
      Vaulted with all thy congregated might
    Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
    Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: Oh hear!

    Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams
     The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
    Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams,
      Beside a pumice isle in Baiae's bay,
    And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
      Quivering within the wave's intenser day,
    All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers
      So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
    For whose path the Atlantic's level powers
      Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
    The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
      The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
    Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear
    And tremble and despoil themselves: Oh hear!

    If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
      If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
    A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
      The impulse of thy strength, only less free
    Than Thou, O uncontrollable! If even
      I were as in my boyhood, and could be
    The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
      As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
    Scarce seem'd a vision,--I would ne'er have striven
      As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
    Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
      I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
    A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd
    One too like thee--tameless, and swift, and proud.

    Make me thy lyre, ev'n as the forest is:
      What if my leaves are falling like its own!
    The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
      Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
    Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
      My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one!
    Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
      Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth;
    And, by the incantation of this verse,
      Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth
    Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
      Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth
    The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
    If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

                                           --SHELLEY.

V

    TO THE NIGHT

    Swiftly walk over the western wave,
              Spirit of night!
    Out of the misty eastern cave
    Where, all the long and lone daylight,
    Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear
    Which make thee terrible and dear,--
              Swift be thy flight!

    Wrap thy form in a mantle gray
              Star-inwrought;
    Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day,
    Kiss her until she be wearied out:
    Then wander o'er sea and city and land,
    Touching all with thine opiate wand--
              Come, long-sought!

    When I arose and saw the dawn,
              I sigh'd for thee:
    When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
    And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
    And the weary Day turn'd to his rest
    Lingering like an unloved guest,
              I sigh'd for thee.

    Thy brother Death came, and cried
              Wouldst thou me?
    Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
    Murmur'd like a noon-tide bee
    Shall I nestle near thy side?
    Wouldst thou me?--And I replied
              No, not thee!

    Death will come when thou art dead,
              Soon, too soon--
    Sleep will come when thou art fled;
    Of neither would I ask the boon
    I ask of thee, beloved Night--
    Swift be thine approaching flight,
              Come soon, soon!

                                           --SHELLEY.

VI

    ODE TO A GRECIAN URN

    Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
      Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
    Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
      A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
    What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
      Of deities or mortals, or of both,
        In Tempé or the dales of Arcady?
    What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
      What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
        What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

    Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
      Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
    Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
      Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
    Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
      Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
        Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
    Though winning near the goal--yet, do not grieve;
      She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
        For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

    Ah happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
      Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
    And, happy melodist, unweariéd,
      For ever piping songs for ever new;
    More happy love! more happy, happy love!
      For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
        For ever panting, and for ever young;
    All breathing human passion far above,
      That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
        A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

    Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
      To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
    Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
      And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
    What little town by river or sea shore,
      Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
        Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
    And, little town, thy streets for evermore
      Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
        Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

    O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
      Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
    With forest branches and the trodden weed;
      Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
    As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
      When old age shall this generation waste
        Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
    Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
      "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"--that is all
        Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

                                           --KEATS.

VII

    It was a lover and his lass
      With a hey and a ho, and a hey nonino!
    That o'er the green corn-field did pass
    In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
    When birds do sing hey ding a ding:
      Sweet lovers love the Spring.

    Between the acres of the rye
    These pretty country folks would lie:
    This carol they began that hour,
    How that life was but a flower:

    And therefore take the present time
      With a hey and a ho and a hey nonino!
    For love is crownéd with the prime
    In spring time, the only pretty ring time,
    When birds do sing hey ding a ding:
      Sweet lovers love the Spring.

                                           --SHAKESPEARE.

VIII

    Pack, clouds, away, and welcome day,
      With night we banish sorrow;
    Sweet air blow soft, mount larks aloft
      To give my Love good-morrow!
    Wings from the wind to please her mind
      Notes from the lark I'll borrow;
    Bird, prune thy wing, nightingale sing,
      To give my Love good-morrow;
        To give my Love good-morrow
        Notes from them both I'll borrow.

    Wake from thy nest, Robin-red-breast,
      Sing, birds, in every furrow;
    And from each hill, let music shrill
      Give my fair Love good-morrow!
    Blackbird and thrush in every bush,
      Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow!
    You pretty elves, amongst yourselves
      Sing my fair Love good-morrow;
        To give my Love good-morrow
        Sing, birds, in every furrow!

                                           --HEYWOOD.

IX

    THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE

    Come live with me and be my Love,
    And we will all the pleasures prove
    That hills and valleys, dale and field,
    And all the craggy mountains yield.

    There will we sit upon the rocks
    And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
    By shallow rivers, to whose falls
    Melodious birds sing madrigals.

    There will I make thee beds of roses
    And a thousand fragrant posies,
    A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
    Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

    A gown made of the finest wool,
    Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
    Fair linéd slippers for the cold,
    With buckles of the purest gold.

    A belt of straw and ivy buds
    With coral clasps and amber studs:
    And if these pleasures may thee move,
    Come live with me and be my Love.

    Thy silver dishes for thy meat
    As precious as the gods do eat,
    Shall on an ivory table be
    Prepared each day for thee and me.

    The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
    For thy delight each May-morning:
    If these delights thy mind may move,
    Then live with me and be my Love.

                                           --MARLOWE.

X

    HUNTING SONG

    Waken, lords and ladies gay,
    On the mountain dawns the day;
    All the jolly chase is here
    With hawk and horse and hunting-spear;
    Hounds are in their couples yelling,
    Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling,
    Merrily, merrily mingle they,
    "Waken, lords and ladies gay."

    Waken, lords and ladies gay,
    The mist has left the mountain gray,
    Springlets in the dawn are steaming,
    Diamonds on the brake are gleaming;
    And foresters have busy been
    To track the buck in thicket green;
    Now we come to chant our lay
    "Waken, lords and ladies gay."

    Waken, lords and ladies gay,
    To the greenwood haste away;
    We can show you where he lies,
    Fleet of foot and tall of size;
    We can show the marks he made
    When 'gainst the oak his antlers fray'd;
    You shall see him brought to bay;
    "Waken, lords and ladies gay."

    Louder, louder chant the lay
    Waken, lords and ladies gay!
    Tell them youth and mirth and glee
    Run a course as well as we;
    Time, stern huntsman! who can baulk,
    Stanch as hound and fleet as hawk;
    Think of this, and rise with day,
    Gentle lords and ladies gay!

                                           --SCOTT.

XI

Besides the rivers Arve and Arveiron, which have their sources in the
foot of Mont Blanc, five conspicuous torrents rush down its sides; and
within a few paces of the Glaciers, the _Gentiana Major_ grows in
immense numbers, with its "flowers of loveliest blue."


HYMN

    BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI

    Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
    In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
    On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc!
    The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
    Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Form!
    Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
    How silently! Around thee and above
    Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
    An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
    As with a wedge! But when I look again,
    It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
    Thy habitation from eternity!
    O dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee,
    Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
    Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer
    I worshiped the Invisible alone.

    Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
    So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,
    Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought,
    Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy:
    Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused,
    Into the mighty vision passing--there
    As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven!
    Awake, my Soul! not only passive praise
    Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
    Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
    Voice of sweet song! Awake, my Heart, awake!
    Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn.

    Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the Vale!
    O struggling with the darkness all the night,
    And visited all night by troops of stars,
    Or when they climb the sky or when they sink;
    Companion of the morning-star at dawn,
    Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
    Co-herald: wake, O wake, and utter praise!
    Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in Earth?
    Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
    Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

    And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
    Who called you forth from night and utter death,
    From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
    Down those precipitous, black, jagged Rocks,
    Forever shattered and the same forever?

    Who gave you your invulnerable life,
    Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
    Unceasing thunder and eternal foam?
    And who commanded (and the silence came),
    Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?

    Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow
    Adown enormous ravines slope amain--
    Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
    And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
    Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
    Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven
    Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the Sun
    Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
    Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?--
    God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
    Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
    God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice!
    Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
    And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
    And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

    Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
    Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest!
    Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm!
    Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
    Ye signs and wonders of the element!
    Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise!

    Thou too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
    Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
    Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene
    Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast--
    Thou too again--stupendous Mountain! thou
    That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
    In adoration, upward from thy base
    Slow traveling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
    Solemnly seemest like a vapory cloud,
    To rise before me--Rise, O ever rise,
    Rise like a cloud of incense, from the Earth!
    Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills,
    Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven,
    Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
    And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
    Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.

                                           --COLERIDGE.

XII

    JAUN'S SONG FROM THE SPANISH GYPSY

    Memory,
    Tell to me
    What is fair
    Past compare
      In the land of Tubal?

    Is it Spring's
    Lovely things,
    Blossoms white,
    Rosy dight?
      Then it is Pepita.

    Summer's crest
    Red-gold tressed,
      Corn-flowers peeping under?
    Idle noons,
    Lingering moons,
    Sudden cloud,
    Lightning's shroud,

    Sudden rain,
    Quick again
      Smiles where late was thunder?
    Are all these
    Made to please?
      So too is Pepita.

    Autumn's prime,
    Apple-time,
    Smooth cheek round,
    Heart all sound?--
    Is it this
    You would kiss?
      Then it is Pepita.

    You can bring
    No sweet thing,
    But my mind
    Still shall find
      It is my Pepita.

    Memory
    Says to me
    It is she--
    She is fair
    Past compare
      In the land of Tubal.

XIII

    PABLO'S SONG FROM THE SPANISH GYPSY

    Spring comes hither,
      Buds the rose;
    Roses wither,
      Sweet spring goes.
        Ojala, would she carry me!

    Summer soars--
      Wide-winged day,
    White light pours,
      Flies away.
        Ojala, would he carry me!

    Soft winds blow,
      Westward born,
    Onward go
      Toward the morn.
        Ojala, would they carry me!

    Sweet birds sing
      O'er the graves,
    Then take wing
      O'er the waves.
        Ojala, would they carry me!

                                           --GEORGE ELIOT.

XIV

    MEMORY[5]

[5] This and the following poem appear by special permission of Houghton
Mifflin Company, the publishers of Mr. Aldrich's poems.

    My mind lets go a thousand things,
    Like dates of wars and deaths of kings,
    And yet recalls the very hour--
    'Twas noon by yonder village tower,
    And on the last blue noon in May--
    The wind came briskly up this way,
    Crisping the brook beside the road;
    Then, pausing here, set down its load
    Of pine-scents, and shook listlessly
    Two petals from that wild-rose-tree.

XV

    ENAMOURED ARCHITECT OF AIRY RHYME

    Enamoured architect of airy rhyme,
        Build as thou wilt; heed not what each man says:
        Good souls, but innocent of dreamer's ways,
    Will come, and marvel why thou wastest time;
    Others, beholding how thy turrets climb
      'Twixt theirs and heaven, will hate thee all thy days;
      But most beware of those who come to praise.
    O Wondersmith, O Worker in sublime
    And Heaven-sent dreams, let art be all in all;
      Build as thou wilt, unspoiled by praise or blame,
        Build as thou wilt, and as thy light is given:
    Then, if at last the airy structure fall,
      Dissolve, and vanish--take thyself no shame.
        They fail, and they alone, who have not striven.

                                           --THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH.

XVI

    LOVE IN THE WINDS[6]

[6] From _Along the Trail_, by Richard Hovey. Copyright, 1898, by Small,
Maynard & Co., Duffield & Co., successors.

    When I am standing on a mountain crest,
      Or hold the tiller in the dashing spray,
    My love of you leaps foaming in my breast,
      Shouts with the winds and sweeps to their foray;
    My heart bounds with the horses of the sea,
      And plunges in the wild ride of the night
    Flaunts in the teeth of tempest the large glee
      That rides out Fate and welcomes gods to fight.
    Ho, love, I laugh aloud for love of you,
      Glad that our love is fellow to rough weather,--
    No fretful orchid hot-housed from the dew,
      But hale and hardy as the highland heather,
    Rejoicing in the wind that stings and thrills,
    Comrades of ocean, playmate of the hills.

                                           --RICHARD HOVEY.


XVII

    CANDLEMAS[7]

[7] By permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

    O hearken, all ye little weeds
      That lie beneath the snow,
      (So low, dear hearts, in poverty so low!)
    The sun hath risen for royal deeds,
    A valiant wind the vanguard leads;
    Now quicken ye, lest unborn seeds
      Before ye rise and blow.

    O furry living things, adream
      On Winter's drowsy breast,
      (How rest ye there, how softly, safely rest!)
    Arise and follow where a gleam
    Of wizard gold unbinds the stream,
    And all the woodland windings seem
      With sweet expectance blest.

    My birds, come back! the hollow sky
      Is weary for your note.
      (Sweet-throat, come back! O liquid, mellow throat!)
    Ere May's soft minions hereward fly,
    Shame on ye, laggards, to deny
    The brooding breast, the sun-bright eye,
      The tawny, shining coat!

                                           --ALICE BROWN.

Mr. Gilbert Chesterton tells us that the real Robert Browning of
literary history arrived with the _Dramatic Lyrics_. "In Dramatic
Lyrics," says Mr. Chesterton, "Browning discovered the one thing that he
could really do better than any one else--the dramatic lyric. The form
is absolutely original; he had discovered a new field of poetry, and in
the center of that field he had found himself." The form is new, but it
obeys the fundamental law of lyric poetry, and so in our study belongs
to this chapter. The new element which the word "dramatic" suggests
makes a new and a somewhat broader demand upon the interpreter;
therefore I have chosen this group of _Dramatic Lyrics_ from Browning as
the material for your final study of this form:

    MY STAR

    All that I know
      Of a certain star
    Is, it can throw
      (Like the angled spar)
    Now a dart of red,
      Now a dart of blue;
    Till my friends have said
      They would fain see, too,
      My star that dartles the red and the blue!
    Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:
      They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
    What matter to me if their star is a world?
      Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.


CAVALIER TUNES

    MARCHING ALONG

    Kentish Sir Byng stood for his King,
    Bidding the crop-headed Parliament swing.
    And, pressing a troop unable to stoop
    And see the rogues flourish and honest folk droop,
    Marched them along, fifty-score strong,
    Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song.

    God for King Charles! Pym and such carles
    To the Devil that prompts 'em their treasonous parles!
    Cavaliers, up! Lips from the cup,
    Hands from the pasty, nor bite take nor sup
    Till you're--
    _(Chorus) Marching along, fifty-score strong,
                Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song._

    Hampden to hell, and his obsequies' knell
    Serve Hazelrig, Fiennes, and young Harry as well!
    England, good cheer! Rupert is near!
    Kentish and loyalists, keep we not here,
    _(Chorus) Marching along, fifty-score strong,
                Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song?_

    Then, God for King Charles! Pym and his snarls
    To the Devil that pricks on such pestilent carles!
    Hold by the right, you double your might;
    So, onward to Nottingham, fresh for the fight.
    _(Chorus) March we along, fifty-score strong,
                Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song!_


GARDEN FANCIES

    THE FLOWER'S NAME

    Here's the garden she walked across,
      Arm in my arm, such a short while since.
    Hark, now I push its wicket, the moss
      Hinders the hinges and makes them wince!
    She must have reached this shrub ere she turned,
      As back with that murmur the wicket swung;
    For she laid the poor snail, my chance foot spurned,
      To feed and forget it the leaves among.

    Down this side of the gravel walk
      She went while her robe's edge brushed the box:
    And here she paused in her gracious talk
      To point me a moth on the milk-white phlox.
    Roses, ranged in valiant row,
      I will never think that she passed you by!
    She loves you, noble roses, I know;
      But yonder, see, where the rock-plants lie!

    This flower she stopped at, finger on lip,
      Stooped over, in doubt, as settling its claim;
    Till she gave me, with pride to make no slip,
      Its soft meandering Spanish name.
    What a name! Was it love or praise?
      Speech half-asleep or song half-awake?
    I must learn Spanish, one of these days,
      Only for that slow sweet name's sake.

    Roses, if I live and do well,
      I may bring her, one of these days,
    To fix you fast with as fine a spell,
      Fit you each with his Spanish phrase;
    But do not detain me now; for she lingers
      There, like sunshine over the ground,
    And ever I see her soft white fingers
      Searching after the bud she found.

    Flower, you Spaniard, look that you grow not,
      Stay as you are and be loved forever!
    Bud, if I kiss you 'tis that you blow not:
      Mind, the shut pink mouth opens never!
    For while it pouts, her fingers wrestle,
      Twinkling the audacious leaves between,
    Till round they turn and down they nestle--
      Is not the dear mark still to be seen?

    Where I find her not, beauties vanish;
      Whither I follow her, beauties flee;
    Is there no method to tell her in Spanish
      June's twice June since she breathed it with me?
    Come, bud, show me the least of her traces,
      Treasure my lady's lightest footfall!
    --Ah, you may flout and turn up your faces--
      Roses, you are not so fair after all!

                                           --BROWNING.

That "the poet is born, not made," is more and more an undisputed fact
in every literary age. But many a birthright of poetic power has been
saved from sale for a mess of pottage by a wisely ordered meeting of the
young bard, while his gift was still latent, with the masters of lyric
expression.

Such an introduction is the object of this study, so far as it can
embrace in its aim the ends of both forms of expression,--interpretation
and composition. There is no thought of inducing even an aspirant to the
_poetical purple_, much less a Shelley or a Keats or an Alice Brown,
through this brief dwelling with their immortal songs; but if this
intensive interpretative study of the highest lyric expression does not
result in a new sense of word values, a new sensitiveness to the music
of the English language, out of which the songs of America must be made,
then the study will have failed in its purpose toward you. If from this
suggestive analysis of Shelley's "Skylark" you receive no impulse to use
words with a new delight in the fitting of sound to sense, a new
reverence for their harmonious arrangement to suggest and sustain an
atmosphere; if, in short, your vocabulary is not enriched and your
choice of words clarified through this study, then your new acquaintance
with lyric expression will have been in vain. And, finally, if some one
of you at least is not impelled by these excursions into the world of
song to use his enriched vocabulary in an attempt to create a bit of
lyric description in prose or verse, then the author of this study, and
the teacher under whose direction it is made, must admit a failure to
reach with the pupil the ultimate aim of such interpretative effort.

Let us make the test. As a final problem of this study I shall ask you
to let your emotion find expression--lyric expression--in a bit of prose
description. Don't be afraid! Use your vocabulary! Take as a subject:
the bit of earth and sky you have secretly worshiped; the bird song or
flight which has charmed your day; the memory of some illumined moment;
the effect of any one of these lyrics upon you. Don't be afraid! And
remember it is to be literature of _feeling_ rather than thought;
_description_, not exposition.



THIRD STUDY

TO DEVELOP THE WHIMSICAL SENSE


Addressing the _Gentle Reader_ in deliciously whimsical vein on the
_Mission of Humor_, Mr. Samuel Arthur Crothers declares: "Were I
appointed by the school board to consider the applicants for teachers'
certificates, after they had passed the examinations in the arts and
sciences, I should subject them to a more rigid test. I should hand each
candidate Lamb's essays on 'The Old and New Schoolmaster' and on
'Imperfect Sympathies.' I should make him read them to himself, while I
sat by and watched. If his countenance never relaxed, as if he were
inwardly saying, 'That's so,' I should withhold the certificate. I
should not consider him a fit person to have charge of innocent youth."
We can readily see from this extract that we need not go back to the
early part of the last century to find material for our test of this
sovereign quality, a sense of humor. Mr. Crothers himself, the Charles
Lamb of our American Letters to-day, shall furnish our subject-matter.
Bring your _Gentle Reader_, or _The Pardoner's Wallet_, or the essays
collected with the _Christmas Sermon_, to class to-morrow. If these
volumes are not in your personal library, your library is sadly lacking.
Read "The Honorable Points of Ignorance," "How to Know the Fallacies,"
or "Conscience Concerning Witchcraft." If any one of these fails to
disclose in you the mental alertness and power of discrimination which
their author considers to be requisite characteristics of a true sense
of humor, then _you_ are sadly lacking in that coveted quality of mind
and heart, and it behooves us to make an attempt to supply these
deficiencies.

Can a sense of humor be cultivated, and if it can be cultivated, is it
safe to do so? some one asks--some one who has suffered at the hands of
a clever jester perhaps. By way of arriving at an answer, let us
examine a little further the category of qualities which Mr. Crothers
considers requisite to true humor.

We have already noted mental alertness and power of discrimination.
There can be no question as to the desirability or feasibility of
developing these characteristics, since such development belongs to the
fundamental effort of education. But these are but two characteristics
of the quality we are considering, and not the distinguishing ones.
"Humor," continues the category, "is the frank enjoyment of the
imperfect." Now we scent a danger! For if, as Mr. Crothers admits,
"artistic sensibility finds satisfaction only in the perfect," and
since, as we all admit, artistic sensibility is an end in education
devoutly to be desired, then is not a cultivation of the "frank
enjoyment of the imperfect," oh dear and gentle humorist, a dangerous
indulgence? The conclusive answer comes: "One may have learned to enjoy
the sublime, the beautiful, the useful, the orderly, but he has missed
something if he has not also learned to enjoy the incongruous, the
illusive, and the unexpected." It is a conclusive reply, because we know
that it is just as essential to achievement in the finest of the Fine
Arts,--the art of living, as in every other form of Art, to recognize
that the inrush of discord is for the final issue of harmony; that only
through our ability to recognize illusion shall we come to know reality;
that only through sensitiveness to the incongruous shall we develop a
true sense of the fitness of things; that only frank enjoyment can
disarm imperfection and find satisfaction in the perfect. So let us not
hesitate to do all we can to cultivate a quality which Thackeray defines
as a mixture of love and wit; to which Erasmus ascribes such desirable
characteristics as good temper and insight into human nature; and for
one grade of which, in addition to all its other qualities, Mr. Crothers
claims "that it can proceed only from a mind free from any taint of
morbidness."

If then we conclude that it is not only safe, but possible and
desirable, to cultivate a sense of humor, how shall we set about it? To
answer you, as to one way at least, and that a way of interpretation,
Mr. Crothers "is left alive," not only to furnish new material for the
exercise of the sense, but to point a gently reminding finger toward the
immortal sources of good humor,--"Chaucer and Cervantes and Montaigne;
Shakespeare and Bacon and Fielding and Addison; Goldsmith, Charles Lamb,
and Walter Scott, and in our own country, Irving and Dr. Holmes and
James Russell Lowell." Whatever period of time your schedule grants to
this phase of the work should be dedicated to a closer acquaintance with
the flavor and atmosphere of these great-hearted humorists in their most
genial moments. Let us also heed Mr. Crothers' warning against the humor
of the Dean Swifts which "would be so irresistible were it not bad
humor." Let us avoid more intimate acquaintance with the broad variety
furnished by the Mark Twains and Mr. Dooleys, which may be legitimately
classed as "good humor," but which is so obvious as to be little
conducive to that mental alertness and power of discrimination which we
aim to acquire through this study. Instead, let us seek the gracious
company of William Dean Howells in the whimsical mood he so often
induces.

Accepting, then, as a distinguishing characteristic of the humor we
desire to cultivate, ability to enjoy the incongruous, the illusive, and
the unexpected, let us look to a master maker of these conditions for
class-room guidance in this effort. I suppose Mr. Lewis Carroll has done
more to develop this distinguishing characteristic than any other
contributor to our Letters. So we shall go on an excursion with his
_Alice_ into the _Wonderland_ he made for her. If her frank enjoyment
and free acceptance of the incongruous and the unexpected does not prove
infectious, we must be forever written down among those who could not
understand _Peter Pan_. We shall read and enjoy a chapter or two of
_Alice_ together in class, but for suggestive analysis along
interpretative lines Heaven forbid that I should lay violent hands on
her text. No one can teach you to interpret your _Alice_ save Alice
herself. You may walk with her, talk with her, dwindle and grow with
her, join her adventures in any way she will permit, but you may not
analyze nor dissect her. You may learn to interpret her only by living
with her and loving her.

Now _Æsop_ is another matter. However long you may live with him,
however much you may love his fables, there is a trick of interpretation
to be learned in voicing his philosophy which will develop the whimsical
side of your sense of humor and counteract the insistent moral tone
attached to every fable.


SUGGESTIVE ANALYSIS

The danger in handling a fable does not lie, as the interpreter seems so
often to think, in adopting too serious a tone. All the literature of
pure fancy, from the humorous essays of Bacon through the _Arabian
Nights_ to the nonsensical rhymes of Lear, must be treated with great
gravity of tone and temper by the interpreter. It is not levity, but
only whimsicality of temperament, I demand from one who would read from
this particular lore to me. I want my whimsical friend to interpret my
Chaucer and Crothers, _Peter Pan_ and the _Pied Piper_, Hans Christian
Andersen, Carroll, and Lear, and all the rest of the genial host who
minister to my most precious sense of nonsense. And, perhaps, most of
all, it is he (the whimsical friend) who must read fables to me, for a
fable, the dictionary tells us, is "a story in which, by the imagined
dealings of men with animals or mere things, or by the supposed doings
of these alone, useful lessons are taught." Now a moral "rubbed in" is
like an overdose of certain kinds of medicine, where a little cures, too
much kills. It is the presence of the _lesson_ which the whimsical tone
alone can offset. The whimsical tone never falls into the monotone.
Whimsicality always seeks variety of emphasis and movement. Let us apply
this to the reading of the fable called


     THE CROW AND THE PITCHER

     A crow, half dead with thirst, came upon a pitcher which had once
     been full of water; but when the crow put his beak into the mouth
     of the pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it,
     and that he could not reach far enough down to get at it. He tried,
     and he tried, but at last had to give up in despair. Then a thought
     came to him, and he took a pebble and dropped it into the pitcher.
     Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the pitcher. Then
     he took another pebble and dropped that into the pitcher. Then he
     took another pebble and dropped that into the pitcher. Then he took
     another pebble and dropped that into the pitcher. Then he took
     another pebble and dropped that into the pitcher. At last, at last,
     he saw the water mount up near him; and after casting in a few more
     pebbles he was able to quench his thirst and save his life.

     Little by little does the trick.

How shall we avoid the monotony of the lines beginning "Then he took
another pebble and dropped it into the pitcher"? Note that this line is
followed by one in which but two words are changed, and then by a line
with but one change, and then by three lines with no change at all. Our
only hope lies in a variation of emphasis and movement--a whimsical
variation. Try it! Give "another" the particular stress in reading the
first of these lines. Pause at the close of the line as if to study the
effect of the pebble. In the next line "that," of course, takes the
emphasis. Pause before the word and give it a salient stress. The
movement of the voice through these two lines has been deliberate. On
the next line hasten it a little, and make the pause at the close of the
line shorter. With the fourth line let the tone settle down to work.
Give each of the first five words equal stress. With the fifth and last
line let us feel that you may "go on forever," and surprise us with a
very short pause and a joyful stress upon "at last, at last," and don't
fail to let the enthusiasm of your tone give us the full sense of the
relief which comes with the mounting of the water, and the delight in
the conclusion--"he was able to quench his thirst and save his life."
And now, most whimsically, let us voice the moral, "Little by little
does the trick."


SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION

     THE LION AND THE MOUSE

     Once when a lion was asleep a little mouse began running up and
     down upon him; this soon wakened the lion, who placed his huge paw
     upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him. "Pardon, O King,"
     cried the little mouse; "forgive me this time. I shall never forget
     it; who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these
     days?" The lion was so tickled at the idea of the mouse being able
     to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Some time
     after the lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters, who desired
     to carry him alive to the king, tied him to a tree while they went
     in search of a wagon to carry him on. Just then the little mouse
     happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the lion
     was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the
     king of the beasts. "Was I not right?" said the little mouse.

     Little friends may prove great friends.


     THE WIND AND THE SUN

     The wind and the sun were disputing which was the stronger.
     Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the sun
     said: "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause
     that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the
     stronger. You begin." So the sun retired behind a cloud, and the
     wind began to blow as hard as he could upon the traveler. But the
     harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak
     round him, till at last the wind had to give up in despair. Then
     the sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who
     soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.

     Kindness effects more than severity.

And, now, here is Alice herself to play with a little. Go fearlessly
into her _Wonderland_ and let her teach you "how to meet the illusive,
the incongruous, and the unexpected." Let her minister to your ability
to enjoy the imperfect. Let her develop your _sense of humor_. If she
cannot do so no one can.


     DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE[8]

     [8] These following selections are taken from Harper & Brothers'
     edition of _Alice in Wonderland_ and _Alice Through the
     Looking-Glass_.

     Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on
     the bank, and of having nothing to do; once or twice she had peeped
     into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or
     conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought
     Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"

     So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for
     the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid) whether the
     pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of
     getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit
     with pink eyes ran close by her.

     There was nothing so _very_ remarkable in that; nor did Alice think
     it so _very_ much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself,
     "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" (when she thought it over
     afterward, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at
     this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the
     Rabbit actually _took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket_, and
     looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for
     it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit
     with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and,
     burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and
     fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole
     under the hedge.

     In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering
     how in the world she was to get out again.

     The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and
     then dipped suddenly down--so suddenly that Alice had not a moment
     to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling
     down a very steep well.

     Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had
     plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder
     what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and
     make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see
     anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed
     that they were filled with cupboards and bookshelves; here and
     there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a
     jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labeled "ORANGE
     MARMALADE," but to her great disappointment it was empty. She did
     not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed
     to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.

     "Well!" thought Alice to herself. "After such a fall as this, I
     shall think nothing of tumbling down-stairs! How brave they'll all
     think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I
     fell off the top of the house!" (Which was very likely true.)

     Down, down, down. Would the fall _never_ come to an end? "I wonder
     how many miles I've fallen by this time?" she said, aloud. "I must
     be getting somewhere near the center of the earth. Let me see: that
     would be four thousand miles down, I think--" (for, you see, Alice
     had learned several things of this sort in her lessons in the
     school-room, and though this was not a _very_ good opportunity for
     showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her,
     still it was good practice to say it over) "--yes, that's about the
     right distance--but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've
     got to?" (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either,
     but thought they were nice, grand words to say.)

     Presently she began again. "I wonder if I shall fall right
     _through_ the earth? How funny it'll seem to come out among the
     people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I
     think--" (she was rather glad there _was_ no one listening this
     time, as it didn't sound at all the right word) "--but I shall have
     to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. 'Please,
     ma'am, is this New Zealand or Australia?'" (and she tried to
     courtesy as she spoke--fancy _courtesying_ as you're falling
     through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) "And what an
     ignorant little girl she'll think me! No, it'll never do to ask;
     perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere."

     Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began
     talking again. "Dinah'll miss me very much to-night, I should
     think!" (Dinah was the cat.) "I hope they'll remember her saucer of
     milk at tea-time. Dinah, my dear, I wish you were down here with
     me! There are no mice in the air, I'm afraid, but you might catch a
     bat, and that's very like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats,
     I wonder?" And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and went on
     saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, "Do cats eat bats? Do
     cats eat bats?" and sometimes, "Do bats eat cats?" for, you see, as
     she couldn't answer either question, it didn't much matter which
     way she put it. She felt that she was dozing off, and had just
     begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah, and
     saying to her very earnestly, "Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: did
     you ever eat a bat?" when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came
     upon a heap of dry leaves, and the fall was over.

     Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on her feet in a
     moment. She looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was
     another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight,
     hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost; away went
     Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it
     turned a corner, "Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!"
     She was close behind it when she turned the corner, but the Rabbit
     was no longer to be seen; she found herself in a long, low hall,
     which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the roof.

     There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and
     when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other,
     trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how
     she was ever to get out again.

     Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of
     solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and
     Alice's first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors
     of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large or the key
     was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them.
     However, the second time round she came upon a low curtain she had
     not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen
     inches high. She tried the little golden key in the lock, and to
     her great delight it fitted!

     Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage,
     not much larger than a rat-hole. She knelt down and looked along
     the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed
     to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of
     bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get
     her head through the doorway! "And even if my head would go
     through," thought poor Alice, "it would be of very little use
     without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a
     telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin." For, you
     see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately that Alice
     had begun to think that very few things indeed were really
     impossible.

     There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she
     went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on
     it, or, at any rate, a book of rules for shutting people up like
     telescopes. This time she found a little bottle on it ("which
     certainly was not here before," said Alice), and round its neck a
     paper label, with the words "DRINK ME" beautifully printed on it in
     large letters.

     It was all very well to say "Drink me," but the wise little Alice
     was not going to do _that_ in a hurry. "No, I'll look first," she
     said, "and see whether it's marked '_poison_' or not"; for she had
     read several nice little histories about children who had got
     burned, and eaten up by wild beasts, and many other unpleasant
     things, all because they _would_ not remember the simple rules
     their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will
     burn you if you hold it too long; and that, if you cut your finger
     _very_ deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never
     forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked "_poison_,"
     it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

     However, this bottle was _not_ marked "poison," so Alice ventured
     to taste it, and, finding it very nice (it had, in fact, a sort of
     mixed flavor of cherry-tart, custard, pineapple, roast turkey,
     toffee, and hot buttered toast), she very soon finished it off.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "What a curious feeling!" said Alice. "I must be shutting up like a
     telescope."

     And so it was, indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her
     face brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size
     for going through the little door into that lovely garden. First,
     however, she waited for a few minutes to see if she was going to
     shrink any further: she felt a little nervous about this, "for it
     might end, you know," said Alice, "in my going out altogether, like
     a candle. I wonder what I should be like then?" And she tried to
     fancy what the flame of a candle is like after it is blown out, for
     she could not remember ever having seen such a thing.

     After a while, finding that nothing more happened, she decided to
     go into the garden at once, but, alas for poor Alice! when she got
     to the door she found she had forgotten the little golden key, and
     when she went back to the table for it she found she could not
     possibly reach it. She could see it quite plainly through the
     glass, and she tried her best to climb up one of the table-legs,
     but it was too slippery; and when she had tired herself out with
     trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried.

     "Come, there's no use in crying like that!" said Alice to herself,
     rather sharply. "I advise you to leave off this minute!" She
     generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom
     followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to
     bring tears in her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her
     own ears for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was
     playing against herself, for this curious child was very fond of
     pretending to be two people. "But it's no use now," thought poor
     Alice, "to pretend to be two people! Why, there's hardly enough of
     me left to make _one_ respectable person!"

     Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the
     table. She opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which
     the words "EAT ME" were beautifully marked in currants. "Well, I'll
     eat it," said Alice, "and if it makes me larger I can reach the
     key, and if it makes me smaller I can creep under the door; so,
     either way, I'll get into the garden, and I don't care which
     happens!"

     She ate a little bit and said anxiously to herself, "Which way?
     Which way?" holding her hand on the top of her head to feel which
     way it was growing, and she was quite surprised to find that she
     remained the same size. To be sure, this generally happens when one
     eats cake, but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting
     nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen that it seemed quite
     dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.

     So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.

       *       *       *       *       *


     THE POOL OF TEARS

     "Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice (she was so much surprised
     that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English);
     "now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was!
     Good-by, feet!" (for when she looked down at her feet they seemed
     to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off). "Oh, my
     poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings
     for you now, dears? I'm sure _I_ sha'n't be able! I shall be a
     great deal too far off to trouble myself about you: you must manage
     the best way you can--but I must be kind to them," thought Alice,
     "or perhaps they won't walk the way I want to go! Let me see; I'll
     give them a new pair of boots every Christmas."

     And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it. "They
     must go by the carrier," she thought; "and how funny it'll seem,
     sending presents to one's own feet! And how odd the directions will
     look!--

    _Alice's Right Foot, Esq.
                  Hearthrug,
                          near the Fender_
                                  (_with Alice's love_).

     Oh dear, what nonsense I'm talking!"

     Just then her head struck against the roof of the hall--in fact she
     was now more than nine feet high--and she at once took up the
     little golden key and hurried off to the garden door.

     Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side,
     to look through into the garden with one eye, but to get through
     was more hopeless than ever. She sat down and began to cry again.

     "You ought to be ashamed of yourself," said Alice--"a great girl
     like you" (she might well say this), "to go on crying in this way!
     Stop this moment, I tell you!" But she went on all the same,
     shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round
     her, about four inches deep and reaching half down the hall.

     After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance,
     and she hastily dried her eyes to see what was coming. It was the
     White Rabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white
     kid gloves in one hand and a large fan in the other. He came
     trotting along in a great hurry, muttering to himself as he came,
     "Oh! the Duchess, the Duchess! Oh! won't she be savage if I've
     kept her waiting!" Alice felt so desperate that she was ready to
     ask help of any one; so, when the Rabbit came near her, she began,
     in a low, timid voice, "If you please, sir--" The Rabbit started
     violently, dropped the white kid gloves and the fan, and scurried
     away into the darkness as hard as he could go.

     Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot,
     she kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking: "Dear,
     dear! How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on
     just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me
     think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I
     can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same,
     the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, _that's_ the great
     puzzle!" And she began thinking over all the children she knew that
     were of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been
     changed for any of them.

     "I'm sure I'm not Ada," she said, "for her hair goes in such long
     ringlets, and mine doesn't go in ringlets at all; and I'm sure I
     can't be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she
     knows such a very little! Besides, _she's_ she and _I'm_ I, and--oh
     dear, how puzzling it all is! I'll try if I know all the things I
     used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times
     six is thirteen, and four times seven is--oh dear! I shall never
     get to twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table
     doesn't signify: let's try Geography. London is the capital of
     Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome--no, _that's_ all
     wrong, I'm certain! I must have been changed for Mabel! I'll try
     and say '_How doth the little--_'" and she crossed her hands on her
     lap as if she were saying lessons, and began to repeat it, but her
     voice sounded hoarse and strange, and the words did not come the
     same as they used to do:

         How doth the little crocodile
           Improve his shining tail,
         And pour the waters of the Nile
           On every golden scale!

         How cheerfully he seems to grin,
           How neatly spread his claws,
         And welcomes little fishes in
           With gently smiling jaws!

     "I'm sure those are not the right words," said poor Alice, and her
     eyes filled with tears again as she went on: "I must be Mabel,
     after all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky little
     house, and have next to no toys to play with, and oh! ever so many
     lessons to learn! No, I've made up my mind about it; if I'm Mabel,
     I'll stay down here! It'll be no use their putting their heads down
     and saying, 'Come up again, dear!' I shall only look up and say,
     'Who am I, then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that
     person, I'll come up; if not, I'll stay down here till I'm somebody
     else.' But, oh dear!" cried Alice, with a sudden burst of tears,
     "I do wish they _would_ put their heads down! I am so _very_ tired
     of being all alone here!"

     As she said this she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to
     see that she had put on one of the Rabbit's little white kid gloves
     while she was talking. "How _can_ I have done that?" she thought.
     "I must be growing small again." She got up and went to the table
     to measure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could
     guess, she was now about two feet high, and was going on shrinking
     rapidly. She soon found out that the cause of this was the fan she
     was holding, and she dropped it hastily, just in time to avoid
     shrinking away altogether.

     "That _was_ a narrow escape!" said Alice, a good deal frightened at
     the sudden change, but very glad to find herself still in
     existence; "and now for the garden!" and she ran with all speed
     back to the little door; but, alas! the little door was shut again,
     and the little golden key was lying on the glass table as before,
     "and things are worse than ever," thought the poor child, "for I
     never was so small as this before--never! And I declare it's too
     bad, that it is!"

     As she said these words her foot slipped, and in another moment,
     splash! she was up to her chin in salt water. Her first idea was
     that she had somehow fallen into the sea, "and in that case I can
     go back by railway," she said to herself. (Alice had been to the
     seaside once in her life, and had come to the general conclusion
     that wherever you go to on the English coast you find a number of
     bathing-machines in the sea, some children digging in the sand with
     wooden spades, then a row of lodging-houses, and behind them a
     railway station.) However, she soon made out that she was in the
     pool of tears which she had wept when she was nine feet high.

     "I wish I hadn't cried so much!" said Alice, as she swam about,
     trying to find her way out. "I shall be punished for it now, I
     suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That _will_ be a queer
     thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day."

     Just then she heard something splashing about in the pool a little
     way off, and she swam nearer to make out what it was. At first she
     thought it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but then she
     remembered how small she was now, and she soon made out that it was
     only a mouse that had slipped in like herself.

     "Would it be of any use, now," thought Alice, "to speak to this
     mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way down here that I should
     think very likely it can talk; at any rate, there's no harm in
     trying." So she began: "O Mouse, do you know the way out of this
     pool? I am very tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!" (Alice
     thought this must be the right way of speaking to a mouse. She had
     never done such a thing before, but she remembered having seen in
     her brother's Latin Grammar, "A mouse--of a mouse--to a mouse--a
     mouse--O mouse!") The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively,
     and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said
     nothing.

     "Perhaps it doesn't understand English," thought Alice; "I dare say
     it's a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror." (For
     with all her knowledge of history, Alice had no very clear notion
     how long ago anything had happened.) So she began again: "Ou est ma
     chatte?" which was the first sentence in her French lesson-book.
     The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and seemed to quiver
     all over with fright. "Oh, I beg your pardon!" cried Alice,
     hastily, afraid that she had hurt the poor animal's feelings. "I
     quite forgot you didn't like cats."

     "Not like cats!" cried the Mouse, in a shrill, passionate voice.
     "Would _you_ like cats if you were me?"

     "Well, perhaps not," said Alice, in a soothing tone. "Don't be
     angry about it. And yet I wish I could show you our cat Dinah: I
     think you'd take a fancy to cats if you could only see her. She is
     such a dear, quiet thing," Alice went on, half to herself, as she
     swam lazily about in the pool, "and she sits purring so nicely by
     the fire, licking her paws and washing her face--and she is such a
     nice soft thing to nurse--and she's such a capital one for catching
     mice--oh, I beg your pardon!" cried Alice again, for this time the
     Mouse was bristling all over, and she felt certain it must be
     really offended. "We won't talk about her any more, if you'd rather
     not."

     "We, indeed!" cried the Mouse, who was trembling down to the end of
     his tail. "As if _I_ would talk on such a subject! Our family
     always _hated_ cats--nasty, low, vulgar things! Don't let me hear
     the name again!"

     "I won't, indeed!" said Alice, in a great hurry to change the
     subject of conversation. "Are you--are you fond--of--of dogs?" The
     Mouse did not answer, so Alice went on eagerly: "There is such a
     nice little dog near our house I should like to show you! A little
     bright-eyed terrier, you know, with oh, such long, curly brown
     hair! And it'll fetch things when you throw them, and it'll sit up
     and beg for its dinner, and all sorts of things--I can't remember
     half of them--and it belongs to a farmer, you know, and he says
     it's so useful it's worth a hundred pounds! He says it kills all
     the rats and--oh dear!" cried Alice in a sorrowful tone, "I'm
     afraid I've offended it again!" For the Mouse was swimming away
     from her as hard as it could go, and making quite a commotion in
     the pool as it went.

     So she called softly after it, "Mouse dear! Do come back again, and
     we won't talk about cats, or dogs either, if you don't like them!"
     When the Mouse heard this, it turned round and swam slowly back to
     her. Its face was quite pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it
     said in a low, trembling voice, "Let us get to the shore, and then
     I'll tell you my history, and you'll understand why it is I hate
     cats and dogs."

     It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite crowded
     with the birds and animals that had fallen into it: there were a
     Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other curious
     creatures. Alice led the way, and the whole party swam to the
     shore.


     THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER

    The sun was shining on the sea,
      Shining with all his might;
    He did his very best to make
      The billows smooth and bright--
    And this was odd, because it was
      The middle of the night.

    The moon was shining sulkily,
      Because she thought the sun
    Had got no business to be there
      After the day was done--
    "It's very rude of him," she said,
      "To come and spoil the fun!"

    The sea was wet as wet could be,
      The sands were dry as dry.
    You could not see a cloud, because
      No cloud was in the sky;
    No birds were flying overhead--
      There were no birds to fly.

    The Walrus and the Carpenter
      Were walking close at hand;
    They wept like anything to see
      Such quantities of sand--
    "If this were only cleared away,"
      They said, "it would be grand!"

    "If seven maids with seven mops
      Swept it for half a year,
    Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
      "That they could get it clear?"
    "I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
      And shed a bitter tear.

    "O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
      The Walrus did beseech.
    "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
      Along the briny beach;
    We cannot do with more than four,
      To give a hand to each."

    The eldest Oyster looked at him,
      But never a word he said;
    The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
      And shook his heavy head--
    Meaning to say he did not choose
     To leave the oyster-bed.

    But four young Oysters hurried up,
      All eager for the treat;
    Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
      Their shoes were clean and neat--
    And this was odd, because, you know,
      They hadn't any feet.

    Four other Oysters followed them,
      And yet another four;
    And thick and fast they came at last,
      And more, and more, and more--
    All hopping through the frothy waves,
      And scrambling to the shore.

    The Walrus and the Carpenter
      Walked on a mile or so,
    And then they rested on a rock
      Conveniently low--
    And all the little Oysters stood
      And waited in a row.

    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
      "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
      Of cabbages--and kings--
    And why the sea is boiling hot--
      And whether pigs have wings."

    "But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
      "Before we have our chat;
    For some of us are out of breath,
      And all of us are fat!"
    "No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
      They thanked him much for that.

    "A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
      "Is what we chiefly need;
    Pepper and vinegar besides
      Are very good indeed--
    Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
      We can begin to feed."

    "But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
      Turning a little blue.
    "After such kindness, that would be
      A dismal thing to do!"
    "The night is fine," the Walrus said.
      "Do you admire the view?

    "It was so kind of you to come!
      And you are very nice!"
    The Carpenter said nothing but,
      "Cut us another slice.
    I wish you were not quite so deaf--
      I've had to ask you twice!"

    "It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
      "To play them such a trick.
    After we've brought them out so far,
      And made them trot so quick!"
    The Carpenter said nothing but,
      "The butter's spread too thick!"

    "I weep for you," the Walrus said;
      "I deeply sympathize."
    With sobs and tears he sorted out
      Those of the largest size,
    Holding his pocket-handkerchief
      Before his streaming eyes.

    "O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
      "You've had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?"
      But answer came there none--
    And this was scarcely odd, because
      They'd eaten every one.

We must not deny to humor and fancy the opportunity for creative effort
offered to other faculties in our previous studies. What form shall the
effort take: fable, fairy tale, a whimsical play of fancy in essay, or
merely a nonsense rhyme? I think we must bar the _limerick_ from our
serious creative efforts in the study. You may engage as a class in an
extemporaneous contest in the making of this infectious form of verse if
you like.

Meanwhile, there is still another class-room test of humor which should
be made,--the test of the clever anecdote. There is nothing which so
effectually discloses the quality of your sense of humor as your
attitude toward so-called funny stories. Judgment in such a case will
rest upon three points: What you think is "funny" enough to tell; when
you judge it "apropos" to tell; and the manner of the telling. Three
warnings are in order at this point. If you find that you must preface
your anecdote with the question too often heard, "Do you think you can
stand this story?--it really _is_ clever," in the name of clean humor,
don't tell it! If you find you must introduce your anecdote with the
remark, "Apropos of nothing," or "This is not apropos, but"--in the name
of "sulphitic" humor, don't tell it; finally, if you don't know _how_ to
tell it, in the name of any and all humor, _don't tell it_.

With these cautions in mind, I shall ask you to bring to class to-morrow
your best three "funny stories." Conflicting choice is not likely to
have appropriated all three of your favorite anecdotes. Should you find
that it has done so, never mind. Your taste, though it coincides with
another's, can be quite as well questioned or commended; and the manner
of your telling will be subjected to trial by comparison, which, if not
always comfortable, is always helpful (_when met in the right spirit_).

Remember, the serious creative work you are to produce is to take the
form of a fable, fairy story, or humorous essay.



FOURTH STUDY

TO DEVELOP IMAGINATIVE VIGOR


In one of the great manufacturing towns of the Northwest there are some
twenty-five thousand girls employed in factories. The city permits
conditions of work hostile to the physical life of these girls. Civic
reform is trying to control these conditions. In time it doubtless will
succeed in doing so; meanwhile it makes efforts in other directions. It
establishes working girls' clubs. A class in literature in one of these
clubs enlisted the services of a comprehending young teacher, who kept
the girls interested for more than two years. A little girl from a bag
factory entered this class. She came to every meeting of the first year.
She did not join in the discussions nor ask questions nor evince unusual
intelligence or enjoyment, but she _came_ every night. The class began
its second year. The little girl from the bag factory was the first to
enroll. The teacher could not cover the surprise in her question, "Are
you coming into the class again?" The girl's breathless "Oh yes" sent
her to investigate the case. She went to the factory. She found the
child standing at a bench folding bags. Eight hours a day she folded
bags. A swing back on her right foot with the stuff of which the bag was
made grasped in her hands--a swing forward, and her hands brought the
edges of the stuff together evenly. Over and over a thousand times the
single motion repeated made up the girl's day. "It used to make me
tired," she said, simply. "But it doesn't any more?" "No, because now I
forget what I am doing sometimes. I have my book, you see. They let me
fasten it here." There it was--a paper copy of Shelley's poems. The
print was good; the teacher had seen to that. She had observed that
factory girls' eyes are not always very strong. The book was fastened to
the front of the desk. The child could catch a line from time to time
without interrupting her bag-folding. "But I know most of the poems we
have studied in class by heart." So she had to recall but a line, and
then off she would go through the windows of the stifling factory into
the open fields on the wings of her _imagination_. She was a swift,
sure, little workman; her eye watched the stuff before her and measured
it truly; her hands obeyed her eye, did her work efficiently, and "kept
her job." But the eye of her imagination had been opened in the
literature class and kept her soul alive in spite "of her job." This is
a true story. It has significance for you and me.

If through the use of her imagination a little factory girl can escape
from the monotony of bag-folding, and find freedom and joy in the lyric
world Shelley has created, what limit need be set to our emancipation
through the development of this faculty?

But emancipation is but one result of such development. Listen to David
as he stands with his harp before the King in Browning's story of
_Saul_. Already his song has released the monarch from the depths of
his great despair, but now comes the boy's cry:

            What spell or what charm
    (For, awhile there was trouble within me) what next should I urge
    To sustain him where song had restored him?...
            Then fancies grew rife
    Which had come long ago on the pasture, when round me the sheep
    Fed in silence--above, the one eagle wheeled slow as in sleep;
    And I lay in my hollow and mused on the world that might lie
    'Neath his ken, though I saw but the strip 'twixt the hill and the sky:
    And I laughed--"Since my days are ordained to be passed with my flocks,
    Let me people at least, with my fancies, the plains and the rocks,
    Dream the life I am never to mix with, and image the show
    Of mankind as they live in those fashions I hardly shall know!
    Schemes of life, its best rules and right uses, the courage that gains,
    And the prudence that keeps what men strive for."
            And now those old trains
    Of vague thought came again; I grew surer; so, once more the string
    Of my harp made response to my spirit....

So the imagination of the young shepherd boy had not only disregarded
the limits of his actual environment and escaped in fancy to the great
world beyond, but so vividly had he realized that world _through his
imagination_ that his sympathies had been made broad to comprehend a
monarch's need and his song potent to meet it. Experience alone gives
comprehension. We are prone to think that experience is limited by our
actual horizon. We need to know that experience has no limit save that
which is set by the limit of our imaginative insight. No door of life is
closed to the imaginative mind and heart. The world is its playground to
wander in at will. Experience, and thorough experience, comprehension of
life is at the command of _imagination_.

Life can be intelligently apprehended on the material plane through
trained senses. Life can be vividly realized on the spirit's plane only
through a trained imagination. It is only vivid realization of life at
every point which makes it worth living. You may see the lark long after
he is lost to my duller eye in our common sky, you may hear the song
when my less keen ear no longer catches a faintest thread of melody; but
unless the eye and ear of your imagination match mine you shall not
_vividly realize_ flight or song, and so I shall follow both long after
they are lost to you. Your skylark will pass with the moment of his
rapturous song-flight, while mine shall remain forever a spirit of joy
to be recalled at will for my spirit's refreshing.

Looking then upon imagination as a key to that comprehension of life
which clarifies and constitutes its worth, let us eagerly enter upon the
cultivation of such power. We have left this question of imaginative
development as a definite exercise to a fifth place in our
interpretative study, not because it is less vital to effective
expression than the first four subjects we have considered, but because
_balanced expression_ is our aim, and imagination once given free play
may easily impair that harmonious development of all our faculties which
makes for balance in expression. Of course there is no phase of the
study of interpretation which, when rightly conducted, does not
indirectly or directly involve the training of the imagination. On the
other hand, training of the imagination wisely conducted may comprehend
and carry on development along all other lines of evolution in
expression. A sensitive imagination trained and controlled to its
highest power of apprehension must make for sympathy and intelligence in
thought and feeling, keep humor sane, and give direction to purpose. But
imaginative vigor set free to the uses of thought and emotion _already_
disciplined, to _conscious_ purpose and to _good_ humor, becomes a safe
master of expressive living.

The material through which we are to exercise the imagination and
develop imaginative vigor is the narrative form of discourse. Narration
is successful when it records or has the effect of recording actual
experience. A story (according to the authority we so often invoke,--Mr.
Gardiner), "whether it be as simple as those of the Book of Genesis or
as complex as Mr. James or Mr. Meredith, must carry the effect of the
concreteness, and, as it were, the solidity of life." The plot, the
characters, the setting of a story _which is to live_, must have the
vividness of real experience. This does not mean that the creator of the
story must have actually experienced the plot, the people, and the
pictures which together make up his tale--they may be the product of
actual experience or of imagination--but it does mean that while he is
putting these elements together and creating his narrative he must
realize _as though it were actual experience_ the incident of his plot
with the characters and in the atmosphere of his creation. Such
realization can only come through vivid imagination.

Exactly the same demand is made upon the imagination of the interpreter.
When you retell the tale of a master creator of stories your
interpretation will be convincing, exactly as was his creation,--through
the lucid play of a vivid imagination. You must make me feel that I am
in the presence of incidents, characters, pictures which you yourself
have experienced. Nay, more, you must make me feel that I myself am
actually meeting these people, seeing these pictures, taking part in
these incidents, as you relive for me _in imagination_ at the moment of
your interpretation the tale you are retelling to me.


SUGGESTIVE ANALYSIS

We shall use for suggestive analysis in this study not a complete
specimen of narration, but several examples illustrating two of the
three elements necessary to the personnel of a good story. These three
recognized elements are the setting or situation which the pictures
compose, the atmosphere which the characters create, and the plot or the
action in which the characters engage. We shall leave the question of
the plot to class work upon the selections from epic poetry to be
considered later in this study.

Suppose we test our imaginations in the analysis of a situation or
setting before we attempt a character study. Remember the situation is
to be realized through imagination as though it were actual experience.
It is to be _recreated_. Give your imagination full play in this opening
chapter of George Eliot's _Mill on the Floss_. Let us read the first
sentence:

     A wide plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its
     green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it,
     checks its passage with an impetuous embrace.

Can you see and feel the elements of this picture! You have never
experienced a tide river? Never mind! There is enough in the picture
which _is_ familiar to your actual senses through experience to brace
your imagination for a grasp of the unfamiliar elements. The wide plain,
the river hurrying between green banks--no apperceptive background fails
thus far in the picture. What do we mean by apperceptive background? Let
us investigate for a moment the psychology involved in the art of
"making pictures." Let us get back of this word-picture. Rather let us
stay this side of it. Look at the page before you not with the inner eye
of your imagination, but with the outer eye--the eye which is merely
the organ of the sense of sight. Use your eye as a physical sense only.
What does your eye carry to your mind when you look at this page? "Black
letters grouped into words on a white surface." Did you get all these
qualities at once? Yes, because you have seen other printed pages. Can
you wipe out of your mind your knowledge of paper, print, and words? Can
you imagine looking on such a page as this for the first
time--_perceiving_ it for the first time? If you can do this you will
arrive at an understanding of apperceptive background through its
elimination. You will realize, that all that is in the back of your
mind, stored there by its previous acquaintance with other printed
pages, makes up the apperceptive background by which you get a
conception of this page. That conception comes first through your
physical sense of sight. You may perceive also through touch, through
feeling, for instance, the quality of paper. But all that you perceive
in this initial process,--the stimulus which comes through the physical
senses, yields little to the complete conception as compared with the
yield of your so-called _mental senses_. It is when you have fully
apperceived the object that your conception is complete. It is when you
have brought to bear upon this page (still looked upon, remember, merely
as a printed page regardless of the matter behind the print) all your
previous knowledge,--it is when you have observed that the paper is of
good quality, that the page is closely set, that the print is excellent,
that the margin is wide,--it is when you have compared it in memory with
other pages in other books,--it is when you have not only perceived but
_ap_perceived it that you have really gained a conception of it. Of
course, if you are a type-setter, or a proof-reader, or a printer, or an
editor, or one connected with book-making in any least or last capacity,
you will see a printed page quite lost to me, because your apperceptive
background will outmatch mine as to paper, print, margin, and type.
Good! I yield to you from type-setter to editor! But I challenge you to
another contest over the same page. Match with me now conceptions
gained from another view of this same printed matter. Forget now type,
paper, margins, and words--yes, forget the words as printed words--look
back of them with me. What do you see now on the page? Still words? Look
behind them at the pictures! Now, what do you see? "A wide plain, a
river, green banks, the sea!" Yes, but I see more than that! And you do,
too? "The river flows between green banks?" You have missed a point. How
does she flow? Ah, yes, "She hurries on." Where? "To the sea!" Yes! And
what meets her? "The tide!" Yes, the loving tide meets her! But how?
"Rushing, he checks her passage in an impetuous embrace!" "You _see_ all
this!" you say. Yes, but do you hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it?
Are you, too, caught up in that impetuous embrace? No? Ah, then your
imagination is only half awake. No, it is not a question of background
or actual experience now. There are enough familiar elements, as I have
said before, to rouse your senses to _vividly realize_ the picture as a
whole if you will not shut the door to such realization--that door is
your imagination. Open it! Open it! Now I shall close the book and ask
the class to do likewise, while you read once more _to us_ these first
sentences, paint for us this picture. Yes, now you are using your
imagination to stimulate my senses and awake my imagination, but you
must take heed. You must let me enjoy this picture as a whole. You must
let me see, feel, taste, smell, all "in the same breath." Remember it is
a picture. Don't disregard its perspective. Let all the elements rest in
proper relation one to another and to the whole--as George Eliot placed
them when she made the setting. The atmosphere is on the whole full of
peace. The river "hurries," _but_ the "plain is wide"; the tide
"rushes," but it is a "_loving_ tide," even though its embrace be
"impetuous." Try it once more! Is there not the joy of creation in such
interpretation? Let us read on! You read to us still.

     On this mighty tide the black ships--laden with the fresh-scented
     fir-planks, with rounded sacks of oil-bearing seed, or with dark
     glitter of coal--are borne along to the town of St. Ogg's, which
     shows its aged, fluted red roofs and the broad gables of its
     wharves between the low wooded hill and the river-brink, tingeing
     the water with a soft purple hue under the transient glance of this
     February sun. Far away on each hand stretch the rich pastures and
     the patches of dark earth, made ready for the seed of broad-leaved,
     green crops, or touched already with the tint of the tender-bladed
     autumn-sown corn. There is a remnant still of the last year's
     golden clusters of beehive ricks rising at intervals beyond the
     hedgerows; and everywhere the hedgerows are studded with trees: the
     distant ships seem to be lifting their masts and stretching their
     red-brown sails close among the branches of the spreading ash. Just
     by the red-roofed town the tributary Ripple flows with a lively
     current into the Floss. How lovely the little river is, with its
     dark, changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion
     while I wander along the bank and listen to its low, placid voice,
     as to the voice of one who is dear and loving. I remember these
     large, dipping willows. I remember the stone bridge.

     And this is Dorlcote Mill. I must stand a minute or two here on the
     bridge and look at it, though the clouds are threatening, and it is
     far on in the afternoon. Even in this leafless time of departing
     February it is pleasant to look at--perhaps the chill, damp season
     adds a charm to the trimly kept, comfortable dwelling-house, as
     old as the elms and chestnuts that shelter it from the northern
     blast. The stream is brimful now, and lies high in this little
     withy plantation, and half drowns the grassy fringe of the croft in
     front of the house. As I look at the full stream, the vivid grass,
     the delicate bright-green powder softening the outline of the great
     trunks and branches that gleam from under the bare purple boughs, I
     am in love with moistness, and envy the white ducks that are
     dipping their heads far into the water here among the withes,
     unmindful of the awkward appearance they make in the drier world
     above.

     The rush of the water and the booming of the mill bring a dreamy
     deafness, which seems to heighten the peacefulness of the scene.
     They are like a grand curtain of sound, shutting one out from the
     world beyond. And now there is the thunder of the huge covered
     wagon coming home with sacks of grain. That honest wagoner is
     thinking of his dinner, getting sadly dry in the oven at this late
     hour; but he will not touch it till he has fed his horses--the
     strong, submissive, meek-eyed beasts, who, I fancy, are looking
     mild reproach at him from between their blinkers, that he should
     crack his whip at them in that awful manner, as if they needed that
     hint! See how they stretch their shoulders up the slope toward the
     bridge, with all the more energy because they are so near home!
     Look at their grand shaggy feet, that seem to grasp the firm earth,
     at the patient strength of their neck, bowed under the heavy
     collar, at the mighty muscles of their struggling haunches! I
     should like well to hear them neigh over their hardly earned feed
     of corn, and see them, with their moist necks freed from the
     harness, dipping their eager nostrils into the muddy pond. Now they
     are on the bridge, and down they go again at a swifter pace, and
     the arch of the covered wagon disappears at the turning behind the
     trees.

     Now I can turn my eyes toward the mill again, and watch the
     unresting wheel sending out its diamond jets of water. That little
     girl is watching it too: she has been standing on just the same
     spot at the edge of the water ever since I paused on the bridge.
     And that queer white cur with the brown ear seems to be leaping and
     barking in ineffectual remonstrance with the wheel; perhaps he is
     jealous, because his playfellow in the beaver bonnet is so rapt in
     its movement. It is time the little playfellow went in, I think;
     and there is a very bright fire to tempt her: the red light shines
     out under the deepening gray of the sky. It is time, too, for me to
     leave off resting my arms on the cold stone of this bridge.

     Ah, my arms are really benumbed. I have been pressing my elbows on
     the arms of my chair and dreaming that I was standing on the bridge
     in front of Dorlcote Mill, as it looked one February afternoon many
     years ago. Before I dozed off, I was going to tell you what Mr. and
     Mrs. Tulliver were talking about as they sat by the bright fire in
     the left-hand parlor on that very afternoon I have been dreaming
     of.

If, in your interpretation of this passage, a sensitive imagination
free, but controlled by vital thought and intelligent feeling, has found
in trained instruments a lucid channel for expression, then, at the
close of your reading, _we_, your auditors, shall find our arms really
benumbed from pressing our elbows on the arms of our chairs as we dream
with you that we are standing on the bridge in front of Dorlcote
Mill--the Mill on the Floss, which we find on awakening is but the title
and setting of a great author's great story.

We turn now to the second element of Narration--the _characters_. The
setting we have just analyzed has introduced us to the main characters
of a great story. Our interest is already awake to the little girl who
has been watching with us the unresting wheel of the mill. Why not take
Maggie Tulliver for our character study? To follow Maggie but a little
way is to find Tom. This is well for us, because we need to study both
types. Let us read from the chapter called "Tom Comes Home" in the life
of the boy and girl.


TOM COMES HOME

     Tom was to arrive early in the afternoon, and there was another
     fluttering heart besides Maggie's when it was late enough for the
     sound of the gig-wheels to be expected; for if Mrs. Tulliver had a
     strong feeling, it was fondness for her boy. At last the sound
     came--that quick light bowling of the gig-wheels--and in spite of
     the wind, which was blowing the clouds about, and was not likely to
     respect Mrs. Tulliver's curls and cap-strings, she came outside the
     door, and even held her hand on Maggie's offending head, forgetting
     all the griefs of the morning.

     "There he is, my sweet lad! But Lord ha' mercy! he's got never a
     collar on; it's been lost on the road, I'll be bound, and spoiled
     the set."

     Mrs. Tulliver stood with her arms open; Maggie jumped first on one
     leg and then on the other; while Tom descended from the gig, and
     said, with masculine reticence as to the tender emotions, "Hallo!
     Yap--what! are you there?"

     Nevertheless, he submitted to be kissed willingly enough, though
     Maggie hung on his neck in rather a strangling fashion, while his
     blue-gray eyes wandered toward the croft and the lambs and the
     river, where he promised himself that he would begin to fish the
     first thing to-morrow morning. He was one of those lads that grow
     everywhere in England and at twelve or thirteen years of age look
     as much alike as goslings--a lad with light-brown hair, cheeks of
     cream and roses, full lips, indeterminate nose and eyebrows--a
     physiognomy in which it seems impossible to discern anything but
     the generic character of boyhood; as different as possible from
     poor Maggie's phiz, which Nature seemed to have molded and colored
     with the most decided intention. But that same Nature has the deep
     cunning which hides itself under the appearance of openness, so
     that simple people think they can see through her quite well, and
     all the while she is secretly preparing a refutation of their
     confident prophecies. Under these average boyish physiognomies that
     she seems to turn off by the gross, she conceals some of her most
     rigid, inflexible purposes, some of her most unmodifiable
     characters; and the dark-eyed, demonstrative, rebellious girl may
     after all turn out to be a passive being compared with this
     pink-and-white bit of masculinity with the indeterminate features.

     "Maggie," said Tom, confidentially, taking her into a corner as
     soon as his mother was gone out to examine his box, and the warm
     parlor had taken off the chill he had felt from the long drive,
     "you don't know what I've got in _my_ pockets," nodding his head up
     and down as a means of rousing her sense of mystery.

     "No," said Maggie. "How stodgy they look, Tom! Is it marls
     (marbles) or cobnuts?" Maggie's heart sank a little, because Tom
     always said it was "no good" playing with _her_ at those games--she
     played so badly.

     "Marls! no; I've swopped all my marls with the little fellows, and
     cobnuts are no fun, you silly, only when the nuts are green. But
     see here!" He drew something half out of his right-hand pocket.

     "What is it?" said Maggie, in a whisper. "I can see nothing but a
     bit of yellow."

     "Why, it's ... a ... new ... guess, Maggie."

     "Oh, I _can't_ guess, Tom," said Maggie, impatiently.

     "Don't be a spitfire, else I won't tell you," said Tom, thrusting
     his hand back into his pocket and looking determined.

     "No, Tom," said Maggie, imploringly, laying hold of the arm that
     was held stiffly in the pocket. "I'm not cross, Tom; it was only
     because I can't bear guessing. _Please_ be good to me."

     Tom's arm slowly relaxed, and he said, "Well, then, it's a new
     fish-line--two new uns--one for you, Maggie, all to yourself. I
     wouldn't go halves in the toffee and ginger-bread on purpose to
     save the money; Gibson and Spouncer fought with me because I
     wouldn't. And here's hooks--see here! I say, _won't_ we go and fish
     to-morrow down by Round Pool? And you shall catch your own fish,
     Maggie, and put the worms on, and everything--won't it be fun?"

     Maggie's answer was to throw her arms around Tom's neck and hug
     him, and hold her cheek against his without speaking, while he
     slowly unwound some line, saying, after a pause:

     "Wasn't I a good brother, now, to buy you a line all to yourself?
     You know, I needn't have bought it if I hadn't liked."

     "Yes, very, very good. I _do_ love you, Tom."

     Tom had put the line back in his pocket, and was looking at the
     hooks one by one, before he spoke again.

     "And the fellows fought me because I wouldn't give in about the
     toffee."

     "Oh, dear! I wish they wouldn't fight at your school, Tom. Didn't
     it hurt you?"

     "Hurt me? no," said Tom, putting up the hooks again, taking out a
     large pocket-knife, and slowly opening the largest blade, which he
     looked at meditatively as he rubbed his finger along it. Then he
     added:

     "I gave Spouncer a black eye, I know--that's what he got by wanting
     to leather _me_; I wasn't going to go halves because anybody
     leathered me."

     "Oh, how brave you are, Tom! I think you're like Samson. If there
     came a lion roaring at me, I think you'd fight him--wouldn't you,
     Tom?"

     "How can a lion come roaring at you, you silly thing? There's no
     lions only in the shows."

     "No; but if we were in the lion countries--I mean, in Africa, where
     it's very hot--the lions eat people there. I can show it to you in
     the book where I read it."

     "Well, I should get a gun and shoot him."

     "But if you hadn't got a gun--we might have gone out, you know, not
     thinking, just as we go fishing; and then a great lion might run
     toward us roaring, and we couldn't get away from him. What should
     you do, Tom?"

     Tom paused, and at last turned away contemptuously, saying: "But
     the lion _isn't_ coming. What's the use of talking?"

     "But I like to fancy how it would be," said Maggie, following him.
     "Just think what you would do, Tom?"

     "Oh, don't bother, Maggie! you're such a silly--I shall go and see
     my rabbits."

     Maggie's heart began to flutter with fear. She dared not tell the
     sad truth at once, but she walked after Tom in trembling silence as
     he went out, thinking how she could tell him the news so as to
     soften at once his sorrow and anger; for Maggie dreaded Tom's anger
     of all things--it was quite a different anger from her own.

     "Tom," she said, timidly, when they were out-of-doors, "how much
     money did you give for your rabbits?"

     "Two half-crowns and a sixpence," said Tom, promptly.

     "I think I've got a great deal more than that in my steel purse
     up-stairs. I'll ask mother to give it you."

     "What for?" said Tom. "I don't want _your_ money, you silly thing.
     I've got a great deal more money than you, because I'm a boy. I
     always have half-sovereigns and sovereigns for my Christmas boxes,
     because I shall be a man, and you only have five-shilling pieces,
     because you're only a girl."

     "Well, but, Tom--if mother would let me give you two half-crowns
     and a sixpence out of my purse to put into your pocket to spend,
     you know, and buy some more rabbits with it?"

     "More rabbits? I don't want any more."

     "Oh, but, Tom, they're all dead."

     Tom stopped immediately in his walk and turned round toward Maggie.
     "You forgot to feed 'em, then, and Harry forgot?" he said, his
     color heightening for a moment, but soon subsiding. "I'll pitch
     into Harry--I'll have him turned away. And I don't love you,
     Maggie. You sha'n't go fishing with me to-morrow. I told you to go
     and see the rabbits every day." He walked on again.

     "Yes. But I forgot--and I couldn't help it, indeed, Tom. I'm so
     very sorry," said Maggie, while the tears rushed fast.

     "You're a naughty girl," said Tom, severely, "and I'm sorry I
     bought you the fish-line. I don't love you."

     "Oh, Tom, it's very cruel," sobbed Maggie. "I'd forgive you if
     _you_ forgot anything--I wouldn't mind what you did--I'd forgive
     you and love you."

     "Yes, you're a silly; but I never _do_ forget things--_I_ don't."

     "Oh, please forgive me, Tom; my heart will break," said Maggie,
     shaking with sobs, clinging to Tom's arm, and laying her wet cheek
     on his shoulder.

     Tom shook her off, and stopped again, saying in a peremptory tone:
     "Now, Maggie, you just listen. Aren't I a good brother to you?"

     "Ye-ye-es," sobbed Maggie, her chin rising and falling
     convulsively.

     "Didn't I think about your fish-line all this quarter, and mean to
     buy it, and saved my money o' purpose, and wouldn't go halves in
     the toffee, and Spouncer fought me because I wouldn't?"

     "Ye-ye-es ... and I ... lo-lo-love you so, Tom."

     "But you're a naughty girl. Last holidays you licked the paint off
     my lozenge-box, and the holidays before that you let the boat drag
     my fish-line down when I set you to watch it, and you pushed your
     head through my kite, all for nothing."

     "But I didn't mean," said Maggie; "I couldn't help it."

     "Yes, you could," said Tom, "if you'd minded what you were doing.
     And you're a naughty girl, and you sha'n't go fishing with me
     to-morrow."

     With this terrible conclusion, Tom ran away from Maggie toward the
     mill, meaning to greet Luke there, and complain to him of Harry.

     Maggie stood motionless, except from her sobs, for a minute or two;
     then she turned round and ran into the house, and up to her attic,
     where she sat on the floor, and laid her head against the
     worm-eaten shelf, with a crushing sense of misery. Tom was come
     home, and she had thought how happy she should be--and now he was
     cruel to her. What use was anything, if Tom didn't love her? Oh, he
     was very cruel! Hadn't she wanted to give him the money, and said
     how very sorry she was? She knew she was naughty to her mother, but
     she had never been naughty to Tom--had never _meant_ to be naughty
     to him.

     "Oh, he is cruel!" Maggie sobbed aloud, finding a wretched pleasure
     in the hollow resonance that came through the long empty space of
     the attic. She never thought of beating or grinding her Fetish; she
     was too miserable to be angry.

     These bitter sorrows of childhood! when sorrow is all new and
     strange, when hope has not yet got wings to fly beyond the days and
     weeks, and the space from summer to summer seems measureless.

This text furnishes an easier exercise in interpretation, does it not?
It does not require a great stretch of imagination to slip back five,
ten, a dozen years to play with these children. But I cannot let you
_play_ with them. We want to meet and know them. The task for your
imagination is not so simple as you think. It is called upon to engage
in character interpretation. You cannot be allowed to merely watch
Maggie and Tom play, or even to play with them. You must use your
imagination to get inside the minds, hearts, souls of this boy and girl
and reveal them to us. You must relive this scene for us, becoming first
Maggie and then Tom. This exercise of your imagination belongs in its
final and complete stage to the next and last of our studies, and to
work on the drama; so we shall not demand too much of you along this
line here, and I shall confine my suggestive analysis of the text to the
following questions:

Define the relation existing between this brother and sister indicated
by this scene.

Is this scene typical of their relation?

Is it a relation likely to obtain throughout their lives? Why?

Define the dispositions of these two children by applying to each three
adjectives.

Will Maggie or Tom make the sacrifices inevitable to such a relation?

Characterize as to inflection and tone-color Maggie's voice and
Tom's. (If your use of this book has been intelligently directed
you have already made a study of these two elements of a vocal
vocabulary--_inflection_ and _tone-color_.)

Answer these questions and re-read the scene.


SELECTIONS FOR INTERPRETATION

The following selections were chosen for this study with a double
concern in the choice,--concern for the development of imaginative vigor
in vocal interpretation; concern for the development of a sense of plot
in narrative composition. The demand upon the interpreter of any of
these poems, for sensitive progressive play of imagination, in carrying
an auditor through a series of events up to a critical issue, cannot
fail to develop, with imaginative vigor, a new sensitiveness of creative
instinct to the third element in narrative,--action.

Your imagination given free play can no more carry the "good news" from
Ghent to Aix on this wild ride, and in the feat fail to outgrow all its
former dimensions, than could the heart of Roland's master remain
untouched in actually performing the feat itself.


     HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX[9]

     [9] The "Good News" is that of the "Pacification de Gant,"
     concluded in 1576. It was a treaty of union between Holland,
     Zealand, and the southern Netherlands, against Spain, under
     tyrannical Philip II. The treaty was greeted rapturously by the
     frontier cities, because it was expected to free the Netherlands
     from Spanish power.

     "There is," writes Mr. Browning, "no sort of historical foundation
     about 'Good News from Ghent.' I wrote it under the bulwark of a
     vessel off the African coast, after I had been at sea long enough
     to appreciate even the fancy of a gallop on the back of a certain
     good horse 'York,' then in my stable at home. It was written in
     pencil on the fly-leaf of Bartoli's _Simboli_, I remember."

     While there is, then, no historical foundation for the "gallop,"
     the verisimilitude of the situation is perfect. Aix might easily
     have resolved to set herself on fire at a given hour, rather than
     submit herself and her citizens piecemeal to the torch of the
     persecutor. The "horse without peer" might possibly have galloped
     the ninety-odd miles between Ghent and Aix, but the feat would be a
     marvelous one.

     This poem and "Hervé Riel," with the accompanying notes, are
     reprinted from _Select Poems of Robert Browning_, edited by William
     Rolfe, A.M., and Héloise E. Hersey, and published by Harper &
     Brothers.

    I

    I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;
    I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
    "Good speed!" cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew;
    "Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through;
    Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,
    And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

    II

    Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
    Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
    I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
    Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
    Rebuckled the check-strap, chained slacker the bit,
    Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

    III

    'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
    Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
    At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
    At Duffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be;
    And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half chime,
    So Joris broke silence with, "Yet there is time!"

    IV

    At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
    And against him the cattle stood black every one,
    To stare through the mist at us galloping past;
    And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
    With resolute shoulders, each butting away
    The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray;

    V

    And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
    For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
    And one eye's black intelligence,--ever that glance
    O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance!
    And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
    His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.

    VI

    By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, "Stay spur!
    Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,
    We'll remember at Aix"--for one heard the quick wheeze
    Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees,
    And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
    As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

    VII

    So we were left galloping, Joris and I,
    Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
    The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,
    'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff;
    Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white,
    And "Gallop," gasped Joris, "for Aix is in sight!

    VIII

    How they'll greet us!"--and all in a moment his roan
    Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
    And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
    Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
    With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
    And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.

    IX

    Then I cast loose my buff-coat, each holster let fall,
    Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
    Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
    Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer;
    Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good,
    Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

    X

    And all I remember is, friends flocking round
    As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground;
    And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
    As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
    Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
    Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.

                                           --BROWNING.


     LOCHINVAR

    Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
    Through all the wide border his steed was the best;
    And save his good broadsword he weapon had none,
    He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone.
    So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
    There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

    He stayed not for brake and he stopped not for stone,
    He swam the Esk river where ford there was none;
    But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
    The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
    For a laggard in love and a dastard in war
    Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

    So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall,
    'Mong bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all;
    Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword,
    For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,--
    "Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
    Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"

    "I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied;
    Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide;
    And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
    To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
    There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far
    That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."

    The bride kissed the goblet, the knight took it up;
    He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup;
    She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
    With a smile on her lip, and a tear in her eye.
    He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,--
    "Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.

    So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
    That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
    While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
    And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume,
    And the bride-maidens whispered, "'Twere better by far
    To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar!"

    One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
    When they reached the hall door, where the charger stood near;
    So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
    So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
    "She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;
    They'll have fleet steeds that follow!" quoth young Lochinvar.

    There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan:--
    Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran;
    There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lea,--
    But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
    So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
    Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?

                                           --WALTER SCOTT.


     KING VOLMER AND ELSIE

     _After the Danish of Christian Winter_

    Where, over heathen doom-rings and gray stones of the Horg,
    In its little Christian city stands the church of Vordingborg,
    In merry mood King Volmer sat, forgetful of his power,
    As idle as the Goose of Gold that brooded on his tower.

    Out spake the king to Henrik, his young and faithful squire:
    "Dar'st trust thy little Elsie, the maid of thy desire?"
    "Of all the men in Denmark she loveth only me:
    As true to me is Elsie as thy Lily is to thee."

    Loud laughed the king: "To-morrow shall bring another day,
    When I myself will test her; she will not say me nay."
    Thereat the lords and gallants, that round about him stood,
    Wagged all their heads in concert and smiled as courtiers should.

    The gray lark sings o'er Vordingborg, and on the ancient town
    From the tall tower of Valdemar the Golden Goose looks down:
    The yellow grain is waving in the pleasant wind of morn,
    The wood resounds with cry of hounds and blare of hunter's horn.

    In the garden of her father little Elsie sits and spins,
    And, singing with the early birds, her daily task begins.
    Gay tulips bloom and sweet mint curls around her garden-bower,
    But she is sweeter than the mint and fairer than the flower.

    About her form her kirtle blue clings lovingly, and, white
    As snow, her loose sleeves only leave her small, round wrists in sight;
    Below the modest petticoat can only half conceal
    The motion of the lightest foot that ever turned a wheel.

    The cat sits purring at her side, bees hum in sunshine warm;
    But, look! she starts, she lifts her face, she shades it with her arm.
    And, hark! a train of horsemen, with sound of dog and horn,
    Come leaping o'er the ditches, come trampling down the corn!

    Merrily rang the bridle-reins, and scarf and plume streamed gay,
    As fast beside her father's gate the riders held their way;
    And one was brave in scarlet cloak, with golden spur on heel,
    And, as he checked his foaming steed, the maiden checked her wheel.

    "All hail among thy roses, the fairest rose to me!
    For weary months in secret my heart has longed for thee!"
    What noble knight was this? What words for modest maiden's ear?
    She dropped a lowly courtesy of bashfulness and fear.

    She lifted up her spinning-wheel; she fain would seek the door,
    Trembling in every limb, her cheek with blushes crimsoned o'er.
    "Nay, fear me not," the rider said, "I offer heart and hand,
    Bear witness these good Danish knights who round about me stand.

    I grant you time to think of this, to answer as you may,
    For to-morrow, little Elsie, shall bring another day."
    He spake the old phrase slyly as, glancing round his train,
    He saw his merry followers seek to hide their smiles in vain.

    "The snow of pearls I'll scatter in your curls of golden hair,
    I'll line with furs the velvet of the kirtle that you wear;
    All precious gems shall twine your neck; and in a chariot gay
    You shall ride, my little Elsie, behind four steeds of gray.

    And harps shall sound, and flutes shall play, and brazen lamps shall
          glow;
    On marble floors your feet shall weave the dances to and fro;
    At frosty eventide for us the blazing hearth shall shine,
    While, at our ease, we play at draughts, and drink the blood-red wine."

    Then Elsie raised her head and met her wooer face to face;
    A roguish smile shone in her eye and on her lip found place.
    Back from her low white forehead the curls of gold she threw,
    And lifted up her eyes to his, steady and clear and blue.

    "I am a lowly peasant, and you a gallant knight;
    I will not trust a love that soon may cool and turn to slight.
    If you would wed me henceforth be a peasant, not a lord;
    I bid you hang upon the wall your tried and trusty sword."

    "To please you, Elsie, I will lay keen Dynadel away,
    And in its place will swing the scythe and mow your father's hay."
    "Nay, but your gallant scarlet cloak my eyes can never bear;
    A Vadmal coat, so plain and gray, is all that you must wear."

    "Well, Vadmal will I wear for you," the rider gaily spoke,
    "And on the Lord's high altar I'll lay my scarlet cloak."
    "But mark," she said, "no stately horse my peasant love must ride,
    A yoke of steers before the plow is all that he must guide."

    The knight looked down upon his steed: "Well, let him wander free,--
    No other man must ride the horse that has been backed by me.
    Henceforth I'll tread the furrow and to my oxen talk,
    If only little Elsie beside my plow will walk."

    "You must take from out your cellar cask of wine and flask and can;
    The homely mead I brew you may serve a peasant-man."
    "Most willingly, fair Elsie, I'll drink that mead of thine,
    And leave my minstrel's thirsty throat to drain my generous wine."

    "Now break your shield asunder, and shatter sign and boss,
    Unmeet for peasant-wedded arms, your knightly knee across.
    And pull me down your castle from top to basement wall,
    And let your plow trace furrows in the ruins of your hall!"

    Then smiled he with a lofty pride: right well at last he knew
    The maiden of the spinning-wheel was to her troth-plight true.
    "Ah, roguish little Elsie! you act your part full well:
    You know that I must bear my shield and in my castle dwell!

    The lions ramping on that shield between the hearts aflame
    Keep watch o'er Denmark's honor, and guard her ancient name.
    For know that I am Volmer; I dwell in yonder towers,
    Who plows them plows up Denmark, this goodly home of ours!

    I tempt no more, fair Elsie! your heart I know is true;
    Would God that all our maidens were good and pure as you!
    Well have you pleased your monarch, and he shall well repay:
    God's peace! Farewell! To-morrow will bring another day!"

    He lifted up his bridle hand, he spurred his good steed then,
    And like a whirl-blast swept away with all his gallant men.
    The steel hoofs beat the rocky path; again on winds of morn
    The wood resounds with cry of hounds and blare of hunter's horn.

    "Thou true and ever faithful!" the listening Henrik cried:
    And, leaping o'er the green hedge, he stood by Elsie's side.
    None saw the fond embracing, save, shining from afar,
    The Golden Goose that watched them from the tower of Valdemar.

    O darling girls of Denmark! of all the flowers that throng
    Her vales of spring the fairest, I sing for you my song.
    No praise as yours so bravely rewards the singer's skill;
    Thank God! of maids like Elsie the land has plenty still!

                                           --WHITTIER.


     HERVÉ RIEL[10]

     [10] "This spirited poem was sent to the _Cornhill_, because
     Browning was asked for a subscription to the fund for sending food
     to Paris after the siege by the Germans in 1870-71. Though he
     condemned Louis Napoleon's war, he wished to help the French in
     their distress, and he sent to the fund the 100 pounds that Mr.
     George Smith gave him for 'Hervé Riel.' The subject of the poem and
     its generous treatment surely manifolded the good-will of the gift.
     An English poet restored to France its 'Forgotten Worthy.' An
     Englishman sang the praises of a French sailor's balking the
     English fleet. One of the nation whose boast it is that her heroes
     need no other motive for their noble deeds than 'England expects
     every man to do his duty' showed that in France, too--whose
     citizens were accused of seeking glory and vainglory as their
     dearest gain--was a man who could act out Nelson's words with no
     thought of Nelson's end--a 'peerage or Westminster Abbey'--but just
     do his duty because it lay before him, and put aside with a smile
     the reward offered him for doing it; a real man, an honor to the
     nation and the navy of which he was part."

     "The facts of the story had been forgotten and were denied at St.
     Malo, but the reports to the French Admiralty at the time were
     looked up and the facts established. Browning's only alteration is
     that Hervé Riel's holiday to see his wife, 'La Belle Aurore,' was
     to last, not a day only, but his lifetime."

     "Hervé Riel" was written at Le Croisic, the home of the hero. It is
     a small fishing village near the mouth of the Loire.

    I

    On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two,
      Did the English fight the French--woe to France!
    And, the thirty-first of May, helter-skelter thro' the blue,
    Like a crowd of frightened porpoises a shoal of sharks pursue,
      Came crowding ship on ship to St. Malo on the Rance,
    With the English fleet in view.

    II

    'Twas the squadron that escaped, with the victor in full chase;
      First and foremost of the drove, in his great ship, Damfreville:
        Close on him fled, great and small,
        Twenty-two good ships in all;
    And they signaled to the place,
    'Help the winners of a race!
      Get us guidance, give us harbor, take us quick--or, quicker still,
      Here's the English can and will!'

    III

    Then the pilots of the place put out brisk and leapt on board;
      'Why, what hope or chance have ships like these to pass?' laughed
          they:
    'Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the passage scarred and scored,
    Shall the _Formidable_ here with her twelve and eighty guns
      Think to make the river-mouth by the single narrow way,
    Trust to enter where 'tis ticklish for a craft of twenty tons,
        And with flow at full beside?
        Now, 'tis slackest ebb of tide.
      Reach the mooring? Rather say,
    While rock stands or water runs,
      Not a ship will leave the bay!

    IV

    Then was called a council straight.
    Brief and bitter the debate:
    'Here's the English at our heels; would you have them take in tow
    All that's left us of the fleet, linked together stern and bow,
    For a prize to Plymouth Sound?
    Better run the ships aground!'
      (Ended Damfreville his speech).
    Not a minute more to wait!
      'Let the captains all and each
      Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the vessels on the beach!
    France must undergo her fate.

    V

    Give the word!' But no such word
    Was ever spoke or heard;
    For up stood, for out stepped, for in struck amid all these--
    A captain? A lieutenant? A mate--first, second, third?
        No such man of mark, and meet
        With his betters to compete!
        But a simple Breton sailor pressed by Tourville for the fleet,
    A poor coasting-pilot he, Hervé Riel the Croisickese.

    VI

    And, 'What mockery or malice have we here?' cries Hervé Riel:
      'Are you mad, you Malouins? Are you cowards, fools, or rogues?
    Talk to me of rocks and shoals, me who took the soundings, tell
    On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell
      'Twixt the offing here and Grève, where the river disembogues?
    Are you bought by English gold? Is it love the lying's for?
        Morn and eve, night and day,
        Have I piloted your bay,
    Entered free and anchored fast at the foot of Solidor.
      Burn the fleet and ruin France? That were worse than fifty Hogues!
        Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me there's a way!
    Only let me lead the line,
      Have the biggest ship to steer,
      Get this _Formidable_ clear,
    Make the others follow mine,
    And I lead them, most and least, by a passage I know well,
      Right to Solidor past Grève,
        And there lay them safe and sound;
      And if one ship misbehave,
        Keel so much as grate the ground,
    Why, I've nothing but my life--here's my head!' cries Hervé Riel.

    VII

    Not a minute more to wait.
    'Steer us in, then, small and great!
      Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron!' cried its chief.
    Captains, give the sailor place!
      He is Admiral in brief.
    Still the north wind, by God's grace!
    See the noble fellow's face
    As the big ship, with a bound,
    Clears the entry like a hound,
    Keeps the passage as its inch of way were the wide sea's profound!
      See, safe thro' shoal and rock,
      How they follow in a flock,
    Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that grates the ground,
      Not a spar that comes to grief!
    The peril, see, is past,
    All are harbored, to the last,
    And just as Hervé Riel hollas 'Anchor!'--sure as fate
    Up the English come, too late!

    VIII

    So, the storm subsides to calm:
      They see the green trees wave
      On the heights o'erlooking Grève.
    Hearts that bled are stanched with balm,
      'Just our rapture to enhance,
        Let the English rake the bay,
      Gnash their teeth and glare askance
        As they cannonade away!
    'Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on the Rance!'
    How hope succeeds despair on each captain's countenance!
    Out burst all with one accord,
      'This is Paradise for Hell!
      Let France, let France's King,
      Thank the man that did the thing!'
    What a shout, and all one word,
      'Hervé Riel!'
    As he stepped in front once more,
      Not a symptom of surprise
      In the frank blue Breton eyes,
    Just the same man as before.

    IX

    Then said Damfreville, 'My friend,
    I must speak out at the end,
      Though I find the speaking hard.
    Praise is deeper than the lips;
    You have saved the King his ships,
      You must name your own reward.
    Faith our sun was near eclipse!
    Demand whate'er you will,
    France remains your debtor still.
    Ask to heart's content and have! or my name's not Damfreville.'

    X

    Then a beam of fun outbroke
    On the bearded mouth that spoke,
    As the honest heart laughed through
    Those frank eyes of Breton blue:
    'Since I needs must say my say,
      Since on board the duty's done,
      And from Malo Roads to Croisic Point, what is it but a run?--
    Since 'tis ask and have, I may--
      Since the others go ashore--
    Come! A good whole holiday!
      Leave to go, and see my wife, whom I call the Belle Aurore!'
    That he asked and that he got--nothing more.

    XI

    Name and deed alike are lost:
    Not a pillar nor a post
      In his Croisic keeps alive the feat as it befell;
    Not a head in white and black
    On a single fishing smack,
    In memory of the man but for whom had gone to wrack
      All that France saved from the fight whence England bore the bell.
    Go to Paris: rank on rank
      Search the heroes flung pell-mell
    On the Louvre, face and flank!
      You shall look long enough ere you come to Hervé Riel.
    So, for better and for worse,
    Hervé Riel, accept my verse!
    In my verse, Hervé Riel, do thou once more
    Save the squadron, honor France, love thy wife the Bell Aurore!


Your imagination can no more follow the flight of the _Formidable_,
steered by Hervé Riel, with the French fleet close following her
guidance and "the English at her heels" past the rocks and shoals of
Grève to safe harbor at Solidor, and remain creatively unsensitive to
the pulse of progressive action, than could the actual rescue of his
country's squadron leave unmoved toward the "man who did the deed" the
heart of her Captain Damfreville.

And when your imagination has not only carried you through such
adventure, but stimulated _my_ imagination to like activity, there is no
limit to be set to the development which may result for us both.

Suggestive analysis can be of little help at this point, the work must
be done in the class-room under direction.

To such stimulating exercise in the vocal interpretation of these poems
of action, I leave you and your imagination. I shall hope to find
difficulty in recognizing either of you at our next meeting. Like Mr.
Rhoades's[11] pupil when he emerged from the Ninth book of _Paradise
Lost_, you ought to have "outgrown all your present intellectual
clothes" in the study of these stories in verse.

[11] Read _The Training of the Imagination_, by James Rhoades; John
Lane Publishing Company.

As further material for this study there is no better choice to be made
than Tennyson's great quasi-epic, _The Idylls of the King_, from which
but for lack of space we should have printed selections. The following
suggestions for work in composition at this point are based on the
_Idylls_.

Describe in your own words Camelot.

Write an imaginary scene between Gareth and his mother.

Tell the story of Elaine.

Make the Holy Grail into the form of a miracle play.



FIFTH STUDY

TO DEVELOP DRAMATIC INSTINCT


Our final study in interpretation has for its concern the development of
dramatic instinct. The work just finished should have left no doubt in
your mind as to the nature or value of this final step in the training,
since it has anticipated both. Development of imaginative vigor should
arouse a latent dramatic instinct and release histrionic power. The
choice of place in these studies for this phase of the training was made
to insure cumulative evolution resulting in balanced expression. As
imagination needs to safeguard her freedom with sympathetic thought and
intelligent emotion, so dramatic instinct needs the guidance of a
vigorous but trained imagination. Dramatic instinct so directed should
achieve skill in interpreting drama and lead to distinction in the art
of acting. The immediate evolution should be a clarified vision of life.
Your final attainment from this theory should be distinction in the art
of living.

With dramatic instinct capable of such achievement, let us proceed to
exercise it in the material chosen for this study,--dramatic literature.
The natural transition from story to play, from narrative to drama, is
by way of the monologue. Some discussion with suggestive analysis of
this form is necessary in order to impress upon you the difference
between suggestive impersonation and actual impersonation or
characterization, leading to a clear understanding of the difference
between reading a play and acting in one; but the final evolution of
interpretative power must come through acted drama,--through taking part
in a play.

The dictionary in defining the monologue authorizes three forms: (1)
when the actor tells a continuous story in which he is the chief
character, referring to the others as absent; (2) when he assumes the
voice or manner of several characters successively; (3) more recently,
when he implies that the others are present, leading the audience to
imagine what they say by his replies. Browning created this more recent
form, which is the most vital of the three. I have chosen for your study
of the monologue examples from Browning alone. To interpret effectively
any one of the Browning monologues will call into play every element of
power in voice and expression which you have gained in your study of
previous forms. You must think vividly, feel intelligently, realize and
suggest an atmosphere, sustain a situation, and keep the beauty of the
poetic form. And you must do all this _in the person of another_. The
new demand which the monologue makes is impersonation. Let us see just
what we mean by impersonation. It is the art of identifying one's self
with the character to be portrayed. It is the art of losing one's self
in the character and the situation the dramatist has created. This means
that the spirit of the character must take possession of the
impersonator, and inform his every thought and feeling, and so his
every motion and tone. Remember, it is the _spirit_ of the character
that must determine the nature of the tone and gesture. The great danger
in entering upon the study of impersonation lies in emphasizing the
outward manifestation instead of the inward spirit of the character to
be portrayed. If you really sense the soul, mind, heart quality of the
character you are to present, and have made your voice and body free
agents for the manifestation of those qualities, your impersonation will
be convincing. If the spirit of the _Patriot_ or _Andrea del Sarto_ or
_Fra Lippo Lippi_ or _Pompilia_ or _Caponsacchi_ or _Guido_ obsesses
you, the outward manifestation will take care of itself--always provided
your instruments are responsive. Don't begin with the outward
manifestation. Don't say I think this man would frown a great deal, or
fold his arms over his breast, or use an eyeglass, or strut, or stoop,
or do any one of a hundred things which, if repeated a half-dozen times
during an impersonation, may become a mannerism and get between the
audience and the spirit of the character. When you are studying a
character for the purpose of impersonation determine first to what type
it belongs. Then study that type, wherever you are. Daily life becomes
your teacher and studio. When you enter upon this art there are no
longer dull moments in railroad stations or trains, in shops or in the
social whirl. Everywhere and always you are the student seeking to know
and understand types of people better, that you may use your knowledge
in presenting to an audience an individual. When you have caught the
spirit of the individual you must realize the situation out of which
this particular individual speaks.

Let us make a special study of the _Tale_ (Browning's epilogue to _The
Two Poets of Croisic_). It is perhaps the most exquisite of the poet's
creations in this field. The situation reveals a young girl recalling to
her poet lover an old Greek tale he had once told her. There is a
suggestion from some critics that Browning has drawn his wife in this
portrait, and through it pays his tribute to her. This immediately
affords us a clue to the type of character to which the speaker belongs.
We cannot hope (nor do we wish) to impersonate Mrs. Browning, but a
knowledge of Mrs. Browning and her relation to her poet lover, gained
through a study of her _Letters and Sonnets_, will lead us more quickly
to a comprehension of the speaker and situation in the _Tale_.

Obsessed by the spirit of the character and fully realizing the
situation, our next step is, _in imagination_, to set the stage. This is
an important point in presenting a monologue. The impersonator must have
a clear idea of his position on his imaginary stage relative to his
imaginary interlocutor. But he must remember that _imaginary_
stage-setting admits of only delicately suggestive use. This is true of
the handling of a monologue at every point. It must be suggestive. The
actor carries to completion the action which the monologuist suggests.
The art of interpreting a monologue depends upon the discrimination of
the impersonator in drawing his line between suggestion and
actualization in gesture. The business of the monologuist is to make an
appeal to the imagination of the audience so vivid that the imagination
of the audience can actualize the suggestion. And the illusion is
complete. What are the relative positions of the girl and her lover in
the _Tale_? There is nothing in the lines to make our choice arbitrary.
It is only important that we determine a relation and keep it
consistently throughout the reading. Here is a possible "setting." They
are in the poet's study; he is working at his desk; she is sitting in a
great chair before the fire, a book in her hand, which she does not
read; she is gazing into the flames. She begins dreamily, more to
herself than to him--"What a pretty tale you told me." At what point
does her tone lose its reflective quality and become more personal?
Where does she turn to him? How do we know that he leaves his chair and
comes over to sit on the arm of her chair? What calls him to her? What
two qualities of feeling run through her mood and determine the color of
her tone and the character of her movements. If your study of Mrs.
Browning has been intelligent, this interplay of the whimsical and
serious in her nature cannot have escaped you, and it will illumine now
your impersonation of this girl. It is the secret of the peculiar charm
of this creation. The story she tells is an old and well-known one. It
is the manner of the telling through which we come in touch with an
exquisite woman's soul that holds us spellbound. Unless the interpreter
catches this secret and reveals it to his audience, he will miss the
distinctive feature of the monologue and reduce it to a narrative poem.


    A TALE

    I

    What a pretty tale you told me
     Once upon a time
    --Said you found it somewhere (scold me!)
     Was it prose or was it rhyme,
    Greek or Latin? Greek, you said,
    While your shoulder propped my head.

    II

    Anyhow there's no forgetting
      This much if no more,
    That a poet (pray, no petting!)
      Yes, a bard, sir, famed of yore,
    Went where such like used to go,
    Singing for a prize, you know.

    III

    Well, he had to sing, nor merely
     Sing but play the lyre;
    Playing was important clearly
     Quite as singing: I desire,
    Sir, you keep the fact in mind
    For a purpose that's behind.

    IV

    There stood he, while deep attention
      Held the judges round,
    --Judges able, I should mention,
      To detect the slightest sound
    Sung or played amiss: such ears
    Had old judges, it appears!

    V

    None the less he sang out boldly,
      Played in time and tune,
    Till the judges, weighing coldly
      Each note's worth, seemed, late or soon,
    Sure to smile 'In vain one tries
    Picking faults out: take the prize!'

    VI

    When, a mischief! Were they seven
     Strings the lyre possessed?
    Oh, and afterward eleven,
     Thank you! Well, sir--who had guessed
    Such ill luck in store?--it happed
    One of those same seven strings snapped.

    VII

    All was lost, then! No! a cricket
      (What 'cicada'? Pooh!)
    --Some mad thing that left its thicket
      For mere love of music--flew
    With its little heart on fire,
    Lighted on the crippled lyre.

    VIII

    So that when (Ah, joy!) our singer
      For his truant string
    Feels with disconcerted finger,
      What does cricket else but fling
    Fiery heart forth, sound the note
    Wanted by the throbbing throat?

    IX

    Ay and, ever to the ending,
      Cricket chirps at need,
    Executes the hands intending,
      Promptly, perfectly,--indeed
    Saves the singer from defeat
    With her chirrup low and sweet.

    X

    Till, at ending, all the judges
      Cry with one assent
    'Take the prize--a prize who grudges
      Such a voice and instrument?
    Why, we took your lyre for harp,
    So it shrilled us forth F sharp!'

    XI

    Did the conqueror spurn the creature,
      Once its service done?
    That's no such uncommon feature
      In the case when Music's son
    Finds his Lotte's power too spent
    For aiding soul-development.

    XII

    No! This other, on returning
      Homeward, prize in hand,
    Satisfied his bosom's yearning:
      (Sir, I hope you understand!)
    --Said 'Some record there must be
    Of this cricket's help to me!'

    XIII

    So, he made himself a statue:
      Marble stood, life-size;
    On the lyre, he pointed at you,
      Perched his partner in the prize;
    Never more apart you found
    Her, he throned, from him, she crowned.

    XIV

    That's the tale: its application?
      Somebody I know
    Hopes one day for reputation
      Thro' his poetry that's--oh,
    All so learned and so wise
    And deserving of a prize!

    XV

    If he gains one, will some ticket,
      When his statue's built,
    Tell the gazer ''Twas a cricket
      Helped my crippled lyre, whose lilt
    Sweet and low, when strength usurped
    Softness' place i' the scale, she chirped?

    XVI

    For as victory was nighest,
      While I sang and played--
    With my lyre at lowest, highest,
      Right alike,--one string that made
    "Love" sound soft was snapt in twain,
    Never to be heard again,--

    XVII

    Had not a kind cricket fluttered,
      Perched upon the place
    Vacant left, and duly uttered
      "Love, Love, Love," whene'er the bass
    Asked the treble to atone
    For its somewhat somber drone.'

    XVIII

    But you don't know music! Wherefore
      Keep on casting pearls
    To a--poet? All I care for
      Is--to tell him that a girl's
    'Love' comes aptly in when gruff
    Grows his singing. (There, enough!)


    INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP

    I

    You know, we French stormed Ratisbon:
      A mile or so away,
    On a little mound, Napoleon
      Stood on our storming-day;
    With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,
      Legs wide, arms locked behind,
    As if to balance the prone brow
      Oppressive with its mind.

    II

    Just as perhaps he mused 'My plans
      That soar, to earth may fall,
    Let once my army-leader Lannes
      Waver at yonder wall,'--
    Out 'twixt the battery smokes there flew
      A rider, bound on bound
    Full-galloping; nor bridle drew
      Until he reached the mound.

    III

    Then off there flung in smiling joy,
      And held himself erect
    By just his horse's mane, a boy:
      You hardly could suspect--
    (So tight he kept his lips compressed,
      Scarce any blood came through)
    You looked twice ere you saw his breast
      Was all but shot in two.

    IV

    'Well,' cried he, 'Emperor, by God's grace
      We've got you Ratisbon!
    The Marshal's in the market-place,
      And you'll be there anon
    To see your flag-bird flap his vans
      Where I, to heart's desire,
    Perched him!' The chief's eye flashed; his plans
      Soared up again like fire.

    V

    The chief's eye flashed; but presently
      Softened itself, as sheathes
    A film the mother-eagle's eye
      When her bruised eaglet breathes;
    'You're wounded!' 'Nay,' the soldier's pride
      Touched to the quick, he said:
    'I'm killed, Sire!' And his chief beside,
      Smiling the boy fell dead.


    MY LAST DUCHESS

    FERRARA

    That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
    Looking as if she were alive. I call
    That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands
    Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
    Will 't please you sit and look at her? I said
    'Frà Pandolf' by design; for never read
    Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
    The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
    But to myself they turned (since none puts by
    The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
    And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
    How such a glance came there; so, not the first
    Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, t'was not
    Her husband's presence only, called that spot
    Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
    Frà Pandolf chanced to say 'Her mantle laps
    Over my lady's wrist too much,' or 'Paint
    Must never hope to reproduce the faint
    Half-flush that dies along her throat': such stuff
    Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
    For calling up that spot of joy. She had
    A heart--how shall I say?--too soon made glad,
    Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
    She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
    Sir, 'twas all one! My favor at her breast,
    The dropping of the daylight in the West,
    The bough of cherries some officious fool
    Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
    She rode with round the terrace--all and each
    Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
    Or blush, at least. She thanked men,--good! but thanked
    Somehow--I know not how--as if she ranked
    My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
    With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
    This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
    In speech--(which I have not)--to make your will
    Quite clear to such an one, and say, 'Just this
    Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
    Or there exceed the mark'--and if she let
    Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
    Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
    --E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
    Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
    Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
    Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
    Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
    As if alive. Will 't please you rise? We'll meet
    The company below, then. I repeat,
    The Count your master's known munificence
    Is ample warrant that no just pretense
    Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
    Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
    At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
    Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
    Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
    Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

                                           --BROWNING.

Our last form for interpretative vocal study is the play. We shall
discover that the presentation of the play makes the same demands upon
the interpreter as the monologue with the new element of _transition_.
We are still studying the monologue, because we are to read, not act,
the play. It is still suggestive, not actualized impersonation. But
instead of one character to suggestively set forth we have two, three, a
dozen to present. The transition from character to character becomes our
one new problem. As we have said before, in making the transition from
character to character, voice, mind, and body must be so volatile that
the action of the play shall not be interrupted. I know of no better
way to enter upon the study of a play for reading (or acting) than to
treat each character as the speaker in a monologue of the Browning type.
The danger in transition from character to character centers in the
instant's pause when one speaker yields to another. The unskilful reader
loses both characters at this point and becomes conscious of himself;
the action of the play stops; and the illusion of scene and situation is
lost. The great reader of the play (in that _instant's pause_), as he
utters the last word of one character, becomes the interlocutor
listening to the words which he as the other character has just uttered.
In that instant he must show the effect of the speech he has just
uttered upon the character he has just become. Which is the greater art:
to read a play, or to act in it?

Use for your study of the play the Shakespearian drama. Begin with
scenes from _As You Like It_ and _The Merchant of Venice_; but begin
with actualized impersonation of the characters. No discussion more! No
analysis more! The play--the "play's the thing" through which to
complete this evolution in Vocal Expression.


_A FINAL WORD ON INTERPRETATION_

Looking back over these studies in interpretation, let us review in true
scholastic fashion the main points thus far discovered. We say looking
back, but as far as the arrangement of our text goes this review
involves looking forward too. The division of the book into three parts
is purely a matter of a necessary separation in discussing the three
activities involved in vocal expression. If your use of this book has
been intelligent, each study in interpretation has revealed your need to
strengthen your vocal vocabulary or to perfect your vocal technique, and
you have turned at once for the required help to the studies in Part II
and the exercises in Part III.

Omitting a review of the _preliminary plunge_, which was intended to
"show up" all your peculiar powers and all your especial needs at once,
and so furnish a basis for the main work, let us see what happened in
the five following studies. It will simplify our statement in each case
to base the analysis of our discoveries on the form of literature
employed in each study.

You found then (or ought to have found) in Study One: that the essay and
didactic poem make a fundamental appeal to the mind; that the demand
upon the interpreter of this form is for clear, concise thinking; that
your need is for a command of unerring emphasis and purposeful
inflection. You turned to the studies in _pause_, _change of pitch_, and
_inflection_ to meet that need. Returning to the main study, you tested
your vocal skill on the essay to find the essay so read might persuade
an auditor to some readjustment of his ideas, values, discriminations,
or strengthen him in convictions already held.

Study Two revealed that in lyric poetry the primary appeal is to
emotion; that its vocal demand upon the interpreter is for a mastery of
_tone-color_, a sense of rhythm, and the power to suggest a background
of musical sound. Having supplied as far as possible any lack in your
vocabulary or technique by supplementary work in Parts II and III,
returning you found that a lyric rightly read could release in the
auditor pity, forgiveness, forbearance, endurance, understanding, love.

The Third Study should have convinced you that a sense of _good_ humor
is a safe and desirable thing to cultivate; that the whimsical tone in
interpretation will leaven almost any lump of sheer learning and
counteract a serious overdose of sentiment; that fable, fairy tale, and
nonsense rhyme depend too for successful interpretation upon this
element of whimsicality in the reader; that the secret of the whimsical
element in vocal expression lies in a use of _pause_ and _inflection_.

Study Four should have discovered to you that the three elements of the
short story can only be realized through imagination; that imaginative
vigor dealing with action requires sustained vitality of tone. Such
discovery should have resulted in many hours of work on the exercises
for _support_ and _freedom_ of _tone_.

When you reached the Fifth and last Study, the work in monologue and
drama should have easily awakened your dramatic instinct and quickly
released your histrionic power. You should have learned through
monologue and drama to understand various types of persons; to see more
clearly the relations of men and events; to more intelligently
comprehend life itself.

Finally, we have discovered that to become a true interpreter of
literature means to become a lucid channel for the message of an author
to the mind of an auditor,--nay, that it means more than that. In final
evolution the interpreter of literature becomes a revealer of life. The
final effect of literature worth interpreting is to enlarge the world's
knowledge of life's beauty, truth, or power. Your final concern as an
interpreter is to let life find through you uninterrupted revelation on
one of these planes; to become a pure medium between the beauty, truth,
and power of life and the seeking soul. The author need not be
considered in this final analysis, because you, the interpreter, first
became identified with the author, and then both of you are lost in the
vision, save only as either personality may enlarge or clarify the
revelation.

A personal experience may help you to realize this ideal of the
interpreter's art.

With a sense of protest, I had presented a play I loved to an audience
with which I felt little sympathy. By chance there was in that audience
one of our best teachers and critics. After my recital I sought his
criticism. Beginning, as the true critic always should, with a noting of
some point of power, he said, "I congratulate you upon your _illumined
moments_, but--they are too infrequent. You must multiply them." "What
do you mean by my illumined moments?" I asked. "The moments when you do
not get between your audience and the thought you are uttering--the
moments when you become a revealer of life to them. Your attitude toward
your audience is not sustained in the simplicity and clearness of some
of its moments. You suddenly ring down the curtain in the middle of the
scene. That spoils the scene, you know. You seem to feel a revolt
against the giving of your confidence to the audience, and thereupon you
immediately shut them away. You become conscious of yourself, and we,
the audience, lose the vision and become conscious of you and the way
you are reading or reciting or acting." Then he added, "Adelaide
Neilson, at first, had illumined moments in her playing of Juliet, but
finally her impersonation became one piece of illumination." That
delightful teacher, reader, and critic, the late Mr. Howard Ticknor,
suggested the same ideal in comparing a Juliet of to-day with Miss
Neilson's Juliet. "When Miss ---- is on the balcony," he said, "you hear
all around you: 'How lovely she looks!' 'Isn't that robe dear?' 'How
beautiful her voice is!' When Miss Neilson lived that little minute, a
breathless people prayed with Juliet, 'I would not for the world they
found thee here,' and sighed with Romeo--'O blessed, blessed night! I am
afeard, being in night, all this is but a dream.'" Miss Neilson _was_
Juliet. They, the audience, lived with these lovers one hour of lyric
rapture, and could never again be quite so commonplace in their attitude
toward the "deathless passion." They may not now remember Adelaide
Neilson, but they remember that story, and forever carry a new vision of
life and love, because the actress lost herself in the life of the play.
She did not exploit her personality and let it stand between the
audience and the drama. When some one says to you--the reader or
actress, "I shall never forget the way you raised your eyebrow at that
point," don't stop to reply, but fly to your study and read the lines
"at that point" over and over, with level brows, until you understand
the meaning, and can express the thought so effectively by a lift of
your voice that you no longer need the help of your eyebrow. Every
gesture, every tone, must call attention, not to itself, but to the
hidden meaning of the author. It must illumine the text of the character
portrayed. That is it: if we would be artists (and there is not one
among us who would not be an artist) we must cease to put our little
selves in front of our messages. In the home, in the office, in the
houses of our friends, in the school-room, on the platform, on the
stage, let us be _simple_, _natural_, _sincere_. Let us lay aside our
mannerisms. Let us seek to know and reveal life. Then shall we be
remembered--not, for a queer way of combing our hair, or lifting our
eyes, or using our hands, or shrugging our shoulders, but for some
revelation of truth or of beauty which we have brought to a community.



PART II

STUDIES IN VOCAL EXPRESSION



STUDIES IN VOCAL EXPRESSION

THE VOCAL VOCABULARY


There is a theory that it is dangerous to go beyond the mere freeing of
the instrument in either vocal or physical training. In accordance with
this theory I was advised by a well-known actress to confine my study
for the stage, so far as the vocal and pantomimic preparation was
concerned, to singing, dancing, and fencing. "Get your voice and body
under control," she said. "Make them free, but don't connect shades of
thought and emotion with definite tones of the voice or movements of the
body; don't meddle with Delsarte or elocution." This advice seemed good
at the time. It still seems to me that it ought to be the right method.
But I have grown to distrust it. One of the chief sources of my distrust
has been the effect of the theory upon the art of the actress who gave
the advice. She is perhaps the most graceful woman on the stage to-day,
and her voice is pure music. But her gestures and tones fail in
lucidity; they fail to illumine the text of the part she essays to
interpret. One grows suddenly impatient of the meaningless grace of her
movements, the meaningless music of her voice. One longs for a swift--if
studied--stride across the stage in anger instead of the unstudied grace
of her glide in swirling-robed protest. One longs to hear a staccato
declaration of intention instead of the cadenced music of a voice
guiltless of intention. No! After the body has been made a free and
responsive agent, a mastery of certain fundamental laws, a mastery of
certain principles of gesture in accordance with the dictates of thought
and emotion, is necessary to its further perfecting as a vivid,
powerful, and true agent of personality. The action must be suited to
the word, the word to the action, through a study of the laws governing
expression in action.

So with the voice: to become not only a free instrument, but a
beautiful and powerful means of expression and communication it must
learn to recognize and obey certain fundamental laws governing its
modulations. A master of verbal expression is distinguished by his vast
vocabulary of words, and his skill and discrimination in its use. A
master of vocal expression must acquire what we may call a _vocal
vocabulary_, consisting of changes of pitch, varieties of inflection and
variations in tone color, and must know how to use these elements with
skill and discrimination. Our need for such a vocabulary was discovered
to us at every step of the work in interpretation. The suggestions and
exercises of the following studies aim to supplement the work in
interpretation by meeting that need. Before making a detailed study of
each element of this vocal vocabulary let us make a quick study with the
four elements in mind. Remember, in the last preliminary exercise, as in
the final complete interpretative endeavor, the material we employ is to
be chosen from real literature. It is to be worth interpreting whether
it be a single line or phrase or a complete poetical drama. We have
agreed to consider literature as real literature, and so worth our
interpretative efforts, when it possesses one or combines all of the
three qualities,--_beauty_, _truth_, and _power_.

This passage from Emerson's _Friendship_ surely meets that requirement.
It is truth beautifully and powerfully expressed. It will serve.

     Our friendships hurry to short and poor conclusions because we have
     made them a texture of wine and dreams instead of the tough fiber
     of the human heart.

Having read this passage cursorily (as is the custom in reading to one's
self to-day), will you now study it for a moment very closely. Now, once
more, please, read it silently, noting the action of your mind as you
read. ("Watch its pulsations," Dr. Curry would say.) And now, aloud,
although without an auditor, read it, this time noting the effect of the
action of the mind upon your voice. Did its pitch change? Where and why?
How did you inflect the words "wine and dreams"? How did the inflection
of these words differ from that of the last six words, "tough fiber of
the human heart," with which they are contrasted in thought? Did your
tone change color at any point? Why? Where? But now, once more, let us
approach the passage, this time with a different intention. Let us study
it with the idea of interpreting it for another mind. Now the method of
attack is very different. Not that it ought to be different. But it is.
Intense concentration ought to characterize all our reading, whether its
object be to acquire knowledge or pleasure for one's self, or to impart
either to another. But the day of reading which "_maketh a full man_"
seems to be long past, so far as the general public is concerned. The
necessity of skimming the pages of a dozen fourth-rate books of the hour
in order to be at least a lucid interlocutor, and so a desired dinner
guest, is making our reading a swift gathering of colorless impressions
which may remain a week or only a day, and which leave no lasting effect
of beauty or truth upon the mind and heart of the reader. Should it not
be rather an intense application of the mind to the thought of a master
mind, until that thought, in all its power and beauty, has broadened the
boundaries of the reader's mind and enlarged the meaning of all his
thoughts? I wonder if a much smaller proportion of time spent in such
reading might not result in a less _bromidic_ social atmosphere, even
though its tendency were a bit serious. I think it might be both safe
and interesting to try such an experiment.

But now we must return to Emerson on _Friendship_. In studying a passage
for the purpose of vocal interpretation you have learned that the
concentration of attention upon the thought must be intense, you must
make the thought absolutely your own before you can present it to your
auditor, it must possess you before you can express it; that the thought
must seem in the moment of its expression to be a creation of your own
brain, it must belong to you as only the thing you have created can, and
until you have so recreated the thought it is not yours to give. Having
recalled these precepts, read the passage silently again. Pour upon it
the light of your experience, your philosophy, your ideals, your
perception of truth. Comment upon it silently as you read. Now read it
aloud and let your voice do this commenting. But wait a moment. Let me
quote for you the paragraph following this statement.

     The laws of friendship are austere and eternal, of one web with the
     laws of nature and morals. But we have aimed at a swift and petty
     benefit to suck a sudden sweetness. We snatch at the slowest fruit
     in the whole garden of God, which many summers and many winters
     must ripen.

This is Emerson's paraphrase of his original statement. How much of it
did your mental commentary include? How did your silent paraphrase
resemble this? Read the original passage again to yourself in the light
of this paraphrase. I shall ask you now to repeat the first sentence
from memory, for you will find, after this concentrated contemplation of
a thought, that its form is fixed fast in your mind. That is a
delightful accompaniment of this kind of reading. The form of the
thought, if it be apposite (which it must be to be literature, and we
are considering only literature), the form of a thought so approached
stays with us in all its beauty.

Let us then repeat the original statement, having read the passage in
which Emerson has elaborated it. Now, what you must demand of your voice
is this: that it shall so handle the single introductory sentence as to
suggest the rest of the paragraph. In other words, your voice must do
the paraphrasing, by means of its changes in pitch, its inflections, and
its variations in tone-color; by means, in short, of its _vocal
vocabulary_.


I

STUDY IN PAUSE AND CHANGE OF PITCH

It is asserted that, "the last word has not been said on any subject."
Mr. Hamilton Mabie seemed to me to achieve a _last word_ on the subject
of _pause_ when he casually remarked: "Emerson was a master of pause; he
would pause, and into the pool of expectancy created by that pause drop
just the right word." There seems little to be added to complete the
exposition of that single sentence. It surely leaves no doubt in our
minds as to the effect to be desired from the use of this element of our
vocabulary. How to use it to gain that effect is our problem. First of
all, we must cease to be afraid to pause. We hurry on over splendid
opportunities to elucidate our text through a just use of this form of
emphasis, beset by two fears: fear that we shall seem to have forgotten
the text; fear that we shall actually forget it if we stop to think.
Think of being afraid to stop to think lest we should stop thinking!
That is precisely what the fear indicates. It arises, of course, from a
confusion as to the real nature of pause. We confuse pause with its
ghost, hesitation. Dr. Curry makes the difference clear for us in his
definition of hesitation as an "empty pause." "Empty of what?" you ask.
Empty of thought! Of course, an empty pause is a ghastly as well as a
ghostly thing to experience. If you have ever faced an audience in one
of those "awful" moments when your voice has ceased because your thought
has stopped, and when you are painfully aware of a pool of embarrassed
sympathy into which you know there is no word to drop, then you have
learned the meaning of an _empty pause_.

On the other hand, if you shall ever face an audience in one of those
_fateful_ moments when your voice pauses because your thought is so
vital, that you realize both your audience and you must be given time to
fully grasp it, and when you are serenely conscious of that "pool of
expectancy" into which you know you have just the right word to drop,
then you will learn the meaning of a _true pause_.

Some one has called inflection a running commentary of the emotions upon
the thought. Emphasis might well be defined in the same way. The
definition would need to be a bit more inclusive, since emphasis
includes inflection. Emphasis then may be defined as a running
commentary of the thought and emotion of the reader upon the thought of
the text he interprets. The words reveal the thought; your valuation of
that thought, as you interpret it, is revealed through your vocal
vocabulary in voicing it. We, your auditors, can only gather from your
emphasis your valuation of the truth or importance of what you are
uttering. You may use one or all of the elements of your vocal
vocabulary to bring out the thought of a single phrase. The elements of
the vocal vocabulary are all forms of emphasis.

Since pause is a cessation of speech it can hardly be called an element
of a vocal vocabulary; but it may rightly be called the basis of our
vocabulary because it determines our use of the other elements. It
behooves us then to make a study of pause before testing our vocabulary
as to its other elements.

Here are two texts to be valued by our use of the pause.


     EXTRACT FROM THE DIARY OF A BOARDING-SCHOOL GIRL

     At midnight, the magic hour as every girl knows for affairs of a
     purely private and personal nature, when far away at the end of a
     corridor you can almost hear Miss ----'s peaceful snore, when as
     the poet aptly put it in this morning's English stunt, "darkness
     clears our vision which by day is sun-blind"--(I thought Jane and I
     would die laughing and give it all away when we came to that line
     in Mr. Lanier's stupid poem),--well, as I say, exactly at that hour
     my heart began to beat so hard I thought it would wake Madge
     without the "punch" I had promised to give her when it was time to
     begin preparations for our grand spread.


From Sidney Lanier's _Crystal_.

    At midnight, death's and truth's unlocking time.
    When far within the spirit's hearing rolls
    The great soft rumble of the course of things--
    A bulk of silence in a mask of sound,--
    When darkness clears our vision that by day
    Is sun-blind, and the soul's a ravening owl
    For truth and flitteth here and there about
    Low-lying woody tracts of time and oft
    Is minded for to sit upon a bough,
    Dry-dead and sharp, of some long-stricken tree
    And muse in that gaunt place,--'twas then my heart,
    Deep in the meditative dark, cried out: ...

The same hour, _midnight_, is designated by both girl and poet; the same
two words, "at midnight," open the confession and the poem. A pause
must follow these words in the reading of either text, and another pause
must be made after the qualifying phrase which immediately follows the
opening words of either text. But what a difference in the comparative
length of the pauses demanded by the two readings! A very different
atmosphere attends an hour when it is the time chosen for a
school-girl's escapade or set apart for a _poet's meditation_. And the
voice by its use of _pause_ can preserve or destroy either atmosphere.
Try it. Make your pauses in reading the school-girl's text of equal
length with the pauses the reading of Lanier's poem demands. You will
find the result is that _overemphasis_ which has brought such discredit
upon the name of "elocution." I once heard a much-advertised reader
strain all the elements of her vocal vocabulary in announcing a simple
change in her programme. I have heard more than one reader give the
stage directions, indicate the scene setting, and introduce the
characters in exactly the same voice and with the same use of emphasis
which were afterward employed in the most dramatic passages. Of course
all the ammunition had been used up before the real battle began, and no
one was in the least affected by the firing during the rest of the
engagement.

We have said that the use of pause determines the use of all other
elements of the vocabulary. This is particularly true of the _change of
pitch_ which immediately follows pause. We pause before a new idea to
get possession of it; in that pause we measure the idea, and the pitch
of the voice changes to accord with that measure. Every change of
thought causes a change of pitch, but the degree and direction of change
in pitch of the voice depends upon the degree and direction of change in
thought values. In the pause the mind takes time to value the new
thought, and tells the voice what change it must make. Robert Browning
affords the best material for a study in change of pitch, because of his
sudden and long parentheses, which can be handled lucidly by a voice
only after it has mastered this element of the vocal vocabulary. _Abt
Vogler_ offers the voice an excellent opportunity for exercise in change
of pitch. I print the first stanza and first line of the second stanza
of this poem for your use.

    Would that the structure brave, the manifold music I build,
      Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to their work,
    Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as when Solomon willed
      Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk,
    Man, brute, reptile, fly--alien of end and of aim,
      Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep removed,
    Should rush into sight at once as he named the ineffable Name,
      And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the princess he loved!

    Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of mine--

Remember, you are to confine your consideration to the one point,
_change of pitch_, not the change of pitch within a word, which is
inflection and belongs to another chapter, but to the broad changes of
pitch from word to word, phrase to phrase, sentence to sentence,
following the intricate changes of the thought.

I leave you to blaze a trail through this forest of ideas. You must find
the main road, and then trace the by-paths which lead away from that
main road, and in this case, fortunately, come back to it again--which
does not always happen in Mr. Browning's "woody tracts of thought." To
employ a better figure for vocal purposes, you must cut off the stream,
the voice, and trace the bed of this river of thought, following the
main channel, and then its branches. You will find the main channel cut
by the first and last lines:

    Would that the structure brave, the manifold music I build,

           *       *       *       *       *

    Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of mine--

All between, beginning with the second line, "Bidding my organ obey,"
and including the last words of the eighth line, "the princess he
loved," is a branch channel, leading away from and coming back to the
main river's bed. But this branch channel is interrupted in turn by its
own branch leading away from it and returning with it to join the main
bed with the last line we quote. This second branch begins in the middle
of the third line with the words, "As when Solomon willed," wanders in
this course for five lines, and, rejoining the first offshoot, returns
to the main channel with the last line. Now turn on the stream, the
_Voice_, and watch it flow into the course as traced. Analyze the
reading as to the use of pause and change of pitch.


II

STUDY IN INFLECTION

To me, the most notable among the many notable elements in Madame Alla
Nazimova's acting is her illumination of the text of her impersonations
through _inflection_. To an ear unaccustomed to the "broken music" of
her speech, a word may now and then be lost because of her still faulty
English, but of her attitude toward the thought she is uttering, or the
person she is addressing, or the situation she is meeting, there can
never be a moment's doubt--so illuminating is the inflectional play of
her voice. The tone she uses is not to me pleasing in quality. It does
not fall in liquid alluring cadences upon the ear as does Miss
Marlowe's, for instance. It is always keyed high, whether the child-wife
Nora, or Hedda, omnivorous of experience, is speaking. But this
high-pitched tone is endlessly volatile. It is restless. It never lets
your attention wander. It is never monotonous. It is a master of
_inflection_. Madame Nazimova's emotion is always primarily
intellectual. It always proceeds from a mind keenly alive to the
instant's incident. This intensely intellectual temperament reveals
itself through her voice in a rare degree of inflectional agility.
Recall the revelation of Nora's soul in her cry: "It is not possible! It
is not possible!" Madame Nazimova's conception of the mistress of _The
Doll's House_ is concentrated in these four words--in her inflection of
the last word, I may almost say. When I close my eyes and think of
Madame Nazimova's voice I see a grove of soft maples in early October
with the sun playing upon them, while Miss Marlowe's tone carries me at
once into the pine woods, where a white birch now and then shimmers its
yellow leaves. Again, the voice of the Russian actress suggests a
handful of diamonds, and the American instrument a set of turquoise in
the matrix. The difference in these two agents of two compelling
personalities is, of course, the result of a difference in the two
temperaments; but undoubtedly it also arises from a difference in
methods of training. Whatever the temperament, light and shade can be
developed in the voice through practice of inflection; and whatever the
temperament, a pure tone can be secured through a mastery of support of
breath and freedom of vocal conditions. The voices of these two
actresses vividly illustrate these two points. We shall study how to
secure Miss Marlowe's tone. We are now to work for Madame Nazimova's
light and shade, so far as a mastery of inflection will secure it. How
shall we proceed?

"All my life," writes Ellen Terry, in her entrancing memoirs, "the thing
which has struck me as wanting on the stage is variety. Some people are
tone-deaf, and they find it physically impossible to observe the law of
contrasts. But even a physical deficiency can be overcome by that
faculty of taking infinite pains." That is the secret of successful
acquisition in any direction, is it not--the _faculty of taking infinite
pains_? With Ellen Terry it resulted in a voice which in its prime
estate suggested, it is said, all the riotous colors of all the autumns,
or Henry Ward Beecher's most varied collection of precious stones. We
can secure an approximate result by employing the same method. Let us
proceed with infinite pains to practise, practise, practise inflection.

Let us first examine this _change of pitch within a word_ which we call
inflection. How does the pitch change, and why, and what does the change
indicate? We have discovered that a change of thought results in a
broad change of pitch from word to word, phrase to phrase, sentence to
sentence, and we shall discover that a change in emotion results in a
change in the color of the tone we are using; but this element of our
vocal vocabulary, inflection, is subtler than either of the other two.
While change of pitch is an intellectual modulation, and variation in
tone-color is an emotional modulation, _inflection_, in a degree,
combines both. It is a change in both color and key within the word. It
is primarily of intellectual significance, but it also reveals certain
temperamental characteristics which cannot be disassociated with
emotion. For instance, the staccato utterance of Mrs. Fiske is
technically the result of her use of straight, swift-falling
inflections, but it is temperamentally the result of thinking and
feeling in terms of Becky Sharp.

Let us see how inflections vary. They rise and fall swiftly or slowly.
They move in a straight line from point to point, or make a curve. (The
latter we call circumflex inflection.) They make various angles with
the original level of pitch, rising or falling abruptly or gradually.
These are some of the variations, each indicating an attitude of the
mind and heart of the speaker toward the thought, or toward the one
spoken to, or toward the circumstances out of which the speech arises.
All must be mastered for use at will if light and shade are to be
developed in the voice.

Now let us take a phrase or sentence, and voice it under a certain
condition, noting the inflection of the word or words which hold the
thought of the phrase or sentence in solution. Then let us change the
condition and again voice the thought, noting the change in inflection.
Let me propound a profound question,--"Do you like growing old?" The
answers will all be "yes" or "no." But what of the inflection of those
monosyllabic words? _Sweet Sixteen_ will employ a straight,
swift-falling inflection on the affirmative (unless some untoward
influence, such as "_Love_ the _Destroyer_," has embittered her life,
when she may give us one of _May Iverson's_ adorable replies, masked in
indifference and circumlocution). _Twenty_ will employ the
straight-falling inflection without the swiftness of Sweet Sixteen's
slide. With _twenty-five_ we detect a faint sign of a curve in the more
gradual fall. _Twenty-eight_ to _thirty-five_ employs various degrees of
circumflex, according to the desire--or possibility--of concealing the
real facts. _Forty_ to _forty-five_, if in defiant mood, employs the
abrupt-falling inflection, or, if quite honest, changes to the negative
with as swift and straight a fall. This lasts through sixty-five, and at
_seventy_ we hear a new and gentle circumflex of the "no," until the
pride of extreme old age sets in at _eighty-five_ with the swift fall of
sixteen's affirmative. Were it not expedient to maintain friendly
relations with one's printer, I should venture to diagram these changes
of tone within a word. As it is, I shall content myself with advising
you to do so.

It is my privilege to have had acquaintance with a woman who was a
personal friend of Emerson. Among the incidents of his delightful talk
with her, retold to me, I recall one which bears upon our present
problem. They were discussing mutual "Friends on the Shelf." "Have you
ever read _Titan_?" asked the gentle seer. "Yes," replied the lady.
"Read it again!" said he. Query to the class: How did the lady inflect
the word _Yes_ to call forth the injunction, _Read it again_? What did
her inflection reveal?

However inclined we may be to quarrel with Bernhardt's conception of the
Duke of Reichstadt, we can never forget her disclosure of the Eaglet's
frail soul through _inflection_ as she crushes letter after letter in
her hand and tosses them aside, uttering the simple words, _Je déchire_,
and the final revelation in the quick, thrilling curve of her wonderful
voice on the same words as the little cousin leaves the room at the
close of this episode of the letters.

No better material can be chosen for a study of inflection than the
paragraph from Emerson's _Friendship_, quoted in a preceding chapter.
Let us repeat the first sentence again. "Our friendships hurry to short
and poor conclusions because we have made them a texture of wine and
dreams instead of the tough fiber of the human heart." Study, in voicing
this, how to illumine the thought by your contrastive inflection of the
words "wine and dreams" and "tough fiber of the human heart." A
lingering circumflex cadence in uttering the first two words will
suggest the unstable nature of a friendship woven out of so frail a
fabric as wine and dreams, while a swift, strong, straight-falling
inflection on each of the last six words indicates the vigorous growth
of a love rooted in the tough fiber of the human heart.

In _Monna Vanna_ Maurice Maeterlinck gives the actress a superb
opportunity to show her mastery of inflection. Let us turn to the scene
in Prinzivalle's tent:[12]

[12] From _Monna Vanna_. By Maurice Maeterlinck. Published by Harper &
Brothers.

     PRINZIVALLE. Are you in pain?

     VANNA. No!

     PRINZIVALLE. Will you let me have it [her wound] dressed?

     VANNA. No! (Pause.)

     PRINZIVALLE. You are decided?

     VANNA. Yes.

     PRINZIVALLE. Need I recall the terms of the--?

     VANNA. It is useless--I know them.

     PRINZIVALLE. Your lord consents.

     VANNA. Yes.

     PRINZIVALLE. It is my mind to leave you free....

     There is yet time should you desire to renounce....

     VANNA. No!

And so the seeming inquisition proceeds. To each relentlessly searching
interrogation from Gianello comes Vanna's unfaltering reply, in a
single, swift monosyllable, "Yes" or "No." The same word, but, oh, the
revelation which may lie in the inflection of that word! Let us try it.
Let us read the scene aloud, first giving as nearly as possible the same
inflection to each of Vanna's answers, then let us voice it again,
putting into the curve of the tone within the narrow space of the two or
three lettered monosyllables all the concentrated mental passion of
Vanna's soul in its attitude toward the terrible situation and toward
the man whom she believes to be her enemy. This is a most difficult
exercise, but if "a man's reach should exceed his grasp," it will not
retard our progress toward the goal of a vocal vocabulary to attempt it
now. Apart from all aim in its pursuit, there is no more fascinating
study than this study of inflection. In this day of artistic photography
there is an endless interest for the artist of the camera in playing
with a subject's expression by varying the light and shade thrown upon
the face. So for the student of vocal expression there is endless
interest in this play with the thought behind a group of words by
varying the inflection of those words. Lady Macbeth's, "We fail!" or
Macbeth's, "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were
done quickly," occurs to us, of course, as rich material for this
exercise.

In her analysis of the character of Lady Macbeth Mrs. Jameson gives us
an interesting study in inflection, based on Mrs. Siddons's
interpretation of the words "We fail." A foot-note reads: "In her
impersonation of the part of Lady Macbeth Mrs. Siddons adopted
successively three different intonations in giving the words 'we fail.'
At first a quick, contemptuous interrogation--'we fail?' Afterward with
the note of admiration--'we fail!' and an accent of indignant
astonishment laying the principal emphasis on the word we--'_we_ fail!'
Lastly, she fixed on what I am convinced is the true reading--'_we
fail_'--with the simple period, modulating the voice to a deep, low,
resolute tone which settled the issue at once, as though she had said:
'If we fail, why then we fail, and all is over.'"

Think how vitally the total impersonation is affected by your choice of
inflections at this point. Compare the effects of the three, Mrs.
Siddons tested. Are there other possible intonations of the words? What
are they? Do you realize the vital effect upon the voice of such vocal
analysis and experimentation? Devote ten minutes of the time you take
for reading each day to this phase of vocal interpretation, and at the
end of a week note its effect upon your silent reading and upon your
voice.

Remember, with inflection, as with every other phase of the training,
the greatest immediate benefit will come from holding the question of
its peculiar significance constantly in mind. Study the temperament of
the people about you by noting this element in their speech. Study the
attitude of every interlocutor you face, by studying the inflection of
his replies to the questions of life and death you propound. But, above
all, study your own use of this element. Do not let your own attitude go
undetected. It may help you to alter an unfortunate attitude to realize
its effect upon your own voice.


III

STUDY IN TONE-COLOR

And now we must turn to our last point of discussion, tone-color. What
is the nature of this element of our vocabulary--this _Klangfarbe_, this
_Timbre_? Upon what does it depend? You will say, "It is a property of
the voice depending upon the form of the vibrations which produce the
tone." True! And physiologically the form of the vibrations depends
upon the condition of the entire vocal apparatus. _Tone-color_, then, is
a modulation of resonance. But what concerns us is the fact that it is
an _emotional_ modulation of resonance. What concerns us is the fact
that, as a change of thought instantly registers itself in a change of
pitch, so a change of emotion instantly produces a change in the color
of the tone--if the voice is a free instrument. And so, as before, I
want you not to think of the physiological aspect, but to yield to the
emotion, noting the character of the resultant tone, regardless of what
has happened in the larynx to produce that result.

As Browning affords us the best material for our study in change of
pitch, so the poems of Sidney Lanier offer to the voice the richest
field for exercise in tone-color. Musician and poet in one, Lanier's
peculiar charm lies in his unerring choice of words, which suggest in
their sound, when rightly voiced, the atmosphere of the scene he is
painting. Lanier uses words as Corot uses colors. This gives the voice
its opportunity to bring out by subtle variations in _timbre_ the
variations in light and shade of an atmosphere. To read aloud,
sympathetically, once a day, Lanier's _The Symphony_ is the best
possible way to develop simultaneously all the elements of a vocal
vocabulary. We shall use this poem to-day as a text for our study in
tone-color. Let us omit the message of the violins and heavier strings,
and take the passage beginning with the interlude upon which the
flute-voice breaks:

    But presently
    A velvet flute-note fell down pleasantly
    Upon the bosom of that harmony,
    And sailed and sailed incessantly,
    As if a petal from a wild rose blown
    Had fluttered down upon that pool of tone
    And boatwise dropped o' the convex side
    And floated down the glassy tide
    And clarified and glorified
    The solemn spaces where the shadows bide.
    From the warm concave of that fluted note
    Somewhat, half song, half odor, forth did float,
    As if a rose might somehow be a throat; ...

What an ideal for tone-color! Dare we think to make it ours? We must. We
must adopt it with confidence of attainment. Let me quote a little
further:

    When Nature from her far-off glen
    Flutes her soft messages to men,
    The flute can say them o'er again;
    Yea, Nature, singing sweet and lone,
    Breathes through life's strident polyphone
    The flute-voice in the world of tone.

Read this passage aloud as a mere statement of fact, employing a
matter-of-fact tone. Gray in color, is it not? Now let your voice take
the color Lanier has blended for you. Let your tone, like a thing "half
song, half odor," float forth on these words and linger as only a
perfume can about the thought. Now let the tone change in color to
clarify and glorify the following message from the flute:[13]

[13] The extracts on pp. 279-287 are from Mr. Sidney Lanier's volume of
"Poems," published by Charles Scribner's Sons.

    Sweet friends,
    Man's love ascends
    To finer and diviner ends
    Than man's mere thought e'er comprehends.

I cannot, for lack of space, reprint the whole flute message, but you
will get the poem, if you have it not, and voice every word of it, I am
sure. Here are some of the most telling lines for our present purpose:

    I speak for each no-tongued tree
    That, spring by spring, doth nobler be,
    And dumbly and most wistfully
    His mighty prayerful arms outspreads
    Above men's oft-unheeding heads,
    And his big blessing downward sheds.
    I speak for all-shaped blooms and leaves,
    Lichens on stones and moss on eaves,
    Grasses and grains in ranks and sheaves;
    Broad-fronded ferns and keen-leaved canes,
    And briery mazes bounding lanes,
    And marsh-plants, thirsty-cupped for rains,
    And milky stems and sugary veins;
    For every long-armed woman-vine
    That round a piteous tree doth twine;
    For passionate odors, and divine
    Pistils, and petals crystalline;

           *       *       *       *       *

    All tree-sounds, rustlings of pine-cones,
    Wind-sighings, doves' melodious moans,
    And night's unearthly undertones;
    All placid lakes and waveless deeps,
    All cool reposing mountain-steeps,
    Vale-calms and tranquil lotos-sleeps;--
    Yea, all fair forms, and sounds, and lights,
    And warmths, and mysteries, and mights,
    Of Nature's utmost depths and heights,
    --These doth my timid tongue present,
    Their mouthpiece and leal instrument
    And servant, all love-eloquent.

You see, to voice this message a mood born of all the "warmths and
mysteries and mights of Nature's utmost depths and heights" must take
possession of you, and you must yield your instrument to the expression
of that mood. Then watch, watch, watch the color of the tone change as
the voice, starting with the clear flute-note, follows sympathetically
the varying phases of Nature's face which the poet has so
sympathetically painted. And now, after a "thrilling calm," the flute
yields its place to a sister instrument, and the tone must change its
_timbre_ to the reed note of the clarionet. In the "melting" message of
that instrument we find two passages which afford the voice chance for a
most vivid contrast in color. Beginning with the line, "Now comes a
suitor with sharp, prying eye," read the two descriptions which follow,
lending your voice to the atmosphere of each:

    _ ... Here, you Lady, if you'll sell I'll buy:
    Come, heart for heart--a trade? What! weeping? why?_
    Shame on such wooer's dapper mercery!
    I would my lover kneeling at my feet
    In humble manliness should cry, _O sweet!
    I know not if thy heart my heart will greet:
    I ask not if thy love my love can meet:
    Whate'er thy worshipful soft tongue shall say,
    I'll kiss thine answer, be it yea or nay:
    I do but know I love thee, and I pray
    To be thy knight until my dying day._

The first two lines, which set forth a suit in terms of trade, demand a
hard, calculating tone, suggestive of large silver dollars. Call this
color dull steel gray. This tone flashes out for a moment in the white
indignation of the third line, softens and warms with the next two
lines, then grows and glows until it reaches a crimson radiance in the
last two lines. Try it!

And now, with "heartsome voice of mellow scorn," let us sound the
message of the "bold straightforward horn."

    "Now comfort thee," said he,
      "Fair Lady.
    For God shall right thy grievous wrong,
    And man shall sing thee a true-love song,
    Voiced in act his whole life long,
    Yea, all thy sweet life long,
      Fair Lady.

    Where's he that craftily hath said.
    The day of chivalry is dead?
    I'll prove that lie upon his head,
    Or I will die instead,
      Fair Lady.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Now by each knight that e'er hath prayed
    To fight like a man and love like a maid,
    Since Pembroke's life as Pembroke's blade,
    I' the scabbard, death was laid,
    I dare avouch my faith is bright
    That God doth right and God hath might.
    Nor time hath changed His hair to white,
    Nor His dear love to spite,
      Fair Lady.

    I doubt no doubts: I strive, and shrive my clay,
    And fight my fight in the patient modern way
    For true love and for thee--ah me! and pray
    To be thy knight until my dying day,
      Fair Lady."

    Made end that knightly horn, and spurred away,
    Into the thick of the melodious fray.

Remember your _key_ is set for you,--the color of the tone is plainly
chosen for you by Mr. Lanier. Not red nor yellow, but a blending of the
two. _Orange_, is it not? Will not an orange tone give us the feel of
heartsome confidence behind and through the mellow scorn of the
knight's message? Try it! Let the two primary colors, red and yellow,
enter in varying degrees according to, or following, the emotional
variation in the thought, as the knight or the lover dominates in the
message. In the first seven lines the tone glows with the love radiance
and the orange deepens toward red. With the next five lines the lover
yields to the knight, and the tone flashes forth a golden, keen-edged
sword. With the thirteenth line the tone begins in the orange on "Now by
each knight that e'er hath prayed," flashes into yellow in "to fight
like a man," softens and deepens toward red in "and love like a maid,"
and returns to the orange to finish the horn _motif_.

Next in this poem which affords such a wonderful study for tone-color we
have the hautboy's message. The color is mixed and laid on the palette
ready for use as before, with the introductory lines:

    And then the hautboy played and smiled,
    And sang like any large-eyed Child,
    Cool-hearted and all undefiled.

Don't let the words _large-eyed Child_ mislead you. Don't, I beseech
you, make the mistake of adopting the "Little Orphan Annie" tone with
which the "elocutionist" too often insults the pure treble of a child's
"undefiled" instrument. That is the keynote to us for our choice of
color--"cool-hearted and all undefiled." Almost a white tone, is it not?
With a little of the blue of the June sky? Try it. Let the blue be
visibly present in the first three lines:

    "Huge Trade!" he said,
    "Would thou wouldst lift me on thy head
    And run where'er my finger led!"

turning to pure white in the next three lines:

    Once said a Man--and wise was He--
    Never shalt thou the heavens see
    Save as a little child thou be.

The last voice comes from the "ancient wise bassoons." Again there is
danger. Do not, oh! do not fall afoul of the conventional old man's
quavering tone. There is nothing conventional about these "weird,
gray-beard old harpers sitting on the high sea-dunes," chanting runes.
The last words of these introductory lines safeguard us--"chanted
runes." There is only one color of tone in which to _chant runes_. Gray,
is it not? Yes, but a silver gray, not the steel gray of the clarionet
when she became for the moment a commercial lover. Then in the
silver-gray tone of the philosopher, voice this last _motif_:

    Bright-waved gain, gray-waved loss,
    The sea of all doth lash and toss,
    One wave forward and one across:
    But now 'twas trough, now 'tis crest,
    And worst doth foam and flash to best,
      And curst to blest.

The importance of a right use of tone-color in vocal interpretation was
impressed upon a Browning class last winter. We were reading the
_Dramatic Lyrics_. The poem for the hour was _Meeting at Night_. The
tone with which the first student attacked this exquisite love-lyric was
so businesslike, so matter of fact, so utterly out of key, that we who
listened saw not the lover hastening to his beloved, but a real-estate
agent "out to buy" a farm. The "gray sea, the long black land, the
yellow half-moon large and low, the startled little waves that creep in
fiery ringlets from their sleep, the pushing prow of the boat quenched
in the slushy sand, the warm, sea-scented beach, and the three fields"
all assumed a merely commercial value. They were interesting exactly as
would be a catalogue of properties in a deed of real estate. If you are
not a very _intense_ member of a Browning society you will, I think,
enjoy the test of tone-color involved in reading this poem from the
contrasted standpoints of the business man and the lover. Of course, in
the first instance you must stop where I, in desperation, stopped the
student on the words, "a farm appears." For I defy any one to read the
last two lines in a gray, matter-of-fact tone.

As was the case in our consideration of inflection, so in this study of
tone-color there is an embarrassment of rich material for the exercise
of this element. Lanier's _Sunrise_ and _Corn_; Browning's prologue to
_The Two Poets of Croisic_, with a vivid contrast of color in each
verse; Swinburne's almost every line; Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson--but why enumerate? All the colorists among
the poets will reward your search of a text for the development of
_timbre_.

For a final brief study of the three elements we aim to acquire, with
especial emphasis in thought upon the last one, let us take this
prologue to _The Two Poets of Croisic_, with its color-contrast in each
verse:

    Such a starved bank of moss
      Till that May morn,
    Blue ran the flash across:
      Violets were born!

    Sky--what a scowl of cloud
      Till, near and far,
    Ray on ray split the shroud:
      Splendid, a star!

    World--how it walled about
      Life with disgrace
    Till God's own smile came out:
      That was thy face

The vocal treatment of the first two verses will be very much alike. The
voice starts in minor key, a gray monotone, in harmony with the absence
of color in the bare bank of dull moss. The inflection of the word
"starved" must emphasize the grayness. It must be a dull push of the
tone on the first syllable, with little, if any, lift above the level of
the low pitch on which the whole line is spoken. With a swift, salient,
rising inflection on the opening word of the second line, an inflection
which creates expectancy of change, the voice lifts the thought out of
the minor into the major key. I must call your attention to the vital
significance of the use of pause at this point by simply asking you to
indulge in it. Stop after uttering the word _till_ and study the effect
of the pause. It is the pause quite as much as the inflection, you see,
which induces the expectant attitude you desire to create in the mind of
your auditor. With the next three words, "that May morn," the tone takes
on a bit of the warmth of early summer. A lingering cadence on the word
"May" will help the suggestion. With the third line the voice begins to
shine. I know no other way to express it. The inflections are swift and
straight, but not staccato, because they must suggest a growth, not a
burst of color. The tone on which the words are borne must be
continuous. It must not be broken off definitely with each word, as is
to prove most effective, we shall find, in handling the third line of
the second verse. The fourth line brings the full, glowing, radiant tone
on the first word, "violets." This tone must be held in full volume on
the last two words. The law for beautiful speech must be observed here.
(But where should it not be observed?) Let us recall the law,
"_Beautiful speech depends upon openness of vowels and definiteness of
consonants._" The vowels give volume to a word, the consonants form.
Slur your consonants and squeeze your vowels in the three words of this
line, "Violets were born," and what becomes of this miracle of spring?
The voicing of the second verse is very like that of the first. The
opening line demands the same gray monotone. But the three words,
"sky," "scowl," and "cloud," if clear-cut in utterance, as they should
be, will break the level of the line more than the single word "starved"
in the first line of the first verse can do, or was meant to do. There
is the same swift lift of the voice in the opening word of the second
line, the same change to the major key, the same growing glow in the
tone on the third line, and the same radiant outburst of color sustained
through the last line. The only difference lies in the suffusion of
radiance in the tone to suggest the coming of color to the bank, in the
first verse, and the outburst of radiance to suggest the sudden
splitting of the clouds and the star's swift birth, in the second verse.
With the emotional change of thought in the last verse, from a travail
and birth in nature to a human soul's struggle and rebirth, the
deepening color which creeps into the tone indicates the entrance of
personal passion. The key does not change. The inflections are still and
straight. The tone simply deepens and glows in the last two lines, as a
prayerful ecstasy possesses the one who reads.



PART III

STUDIES IN VOCAL TECHNIQUE



STUDIES IN VOCAL TECHNIQUE


THE UNINTERRUPTED TONE


When a rich, dramatic temperament seeks for its instrument of expression
the control of faultless technique the result ought to be art of the
highest order. Such is the art of Gracia Ricardo. She has translated her
English name into musical Italian, but does her country the honor to
announce her beautiful voice as an American soprano.

Every tone of Gracia Ricardo's singing voice is as absolutely free from
effort as the repeated note of the hermit thrush's song, and her tone as
pure tone has the effect of that liquid call. But could you freight the
thrush note with knowledge of human passion,--with throb of joy or pulse
of pain, you would get from it the effect of Gracia Ricardo's singing of
a Heine-Schubert song, a Schumann, Brahms, or Franz _lied_, or one of
our English ballads. It must always be a song, for Gracia Ricardo does
not exploit her voice in astonishing vocal feats. She simply _sings her
song_. It was her wish to interpret the _lieder_ of all countries that
sent her in search of a method which would free her voice to that high
use. She found that method, not in her own country, alas, but in
Germany, where for twelve years she has used it in the guidance of her
own voice and that of many others. She finds the American pupil
"difficult," because "You are so impatient of a long, quiet preparation.
You wish to try your skill at every step of the way--and not in the
privacy of your study, but in a public's hearing." Poor American public!
How it has suffered from this _impatience_. It is true, is it not, we
are not willing to take time to establish a right condition for tone
before using the tone in what should be final efforts of the perfected
instrument. _Blessed be drudgery_ has not become a beatitude in the
gospel of the American artist. When it is so recognized by the student
of vocal expression perhaps we can reclaim this great singer and
teacher, Madame Ricardo. This book would further that end.

It has been my good fortune while making this book for you to do some
brief but intensive studying under Madame Ricardo. It is by her gracious
consent that I shall leave with you as an incentive toward the ideal for
which we are striving the two _watchwords_ of her teaching which were
most potently suggestive to me. The exercises which constitute her
method require personal supervision, but the active principle of those
exercises for both tone production and breath control is clearly
indicated by the two phrases "the uninterrupted tone" and "the constant
mouth-breath." These two ideas fully sensed by a voice will work swift
wonders in its use.

Like Mr. Mabie's pool of expectancy, these watchwords of the Ricardo
method suggest their own application; but let us consider them somewhat
more closely. Think then with me of an _uninterrupted tone_--a tone
which is not interfered with at any point in its production. Think of a
breath that flows freely on and on, constantly reinforced, but never
interrupted--a breath that is allowed to enter the vocal box, pass
between the vocal chords, where it is converted into tone; yield itself
to the organs of speech and controlled by the speech process, issue from
the mouth in beautiful speech forms, in the words which constitute a
language!

Tracing the process of tone production in this way, we find that three
distinct steps are involved. Even as I write the words distinct and
steps I realize their inharmony with the idea of flowing tone. Rather
then let us say three phases in the evolution of speech: _breath_,
_tone_, _speech_. In using the word speech to designate the final phase
in this evolution I am thinking of it in its broadest sense--really in a
sense identical with language. With this final phase beyond its mere
initiation this book cannot deeply concern itself. For work along this
line I must refer you to Prof. T. R. Lounsbury's _Standard of
Pronunciation in English_; to the article on _The Acquiring of Clear
Speech_ by John D. Barry, published in _Harper's Bazaar_ for August,
September, and October, 1907; to _The Technique of Speech_, by Dora Duty
Jones.

Not technique of speech, but _technique_ of _tone_ is our study. Not how
to make beautiful speech forms, but how to make beautiful speech-tones;
not how to distinguish one speech from another in a language, or the
speech forms of one language from those of another, but how to
distinguish interrupted speech-tone from _uninterrupted_
speech-tone--such is our problem.

But tone is breath before it becomes speech, so our first concern is
with the initial stage. The process of breath control in the Ricardo
method of tone production (as in my own) is analogous to the process of
pumping water. Let your chest with its lungs represent the reservoir,
your diaphragm, the great muscle at the base of the lungs, becomes the
piston and your mouth the mouth of the pump. If the mouth of the pump
runs dry the pump itself runs down and has to be primed. Priming a pump
is precisely analogous to "catching your breath" in speech.

The active principle of breath control in the Ricardo method is the idea
of a _constant mouth-breath_. A sense of uninterrupted breath is as
essential to a knowledge of correct tone as a sense of uninterrupted
tone is to a knowledge of correct speech and song.

In breathing to speak or sing there must be such perfect diaphragmatic
control that the mouth shall never be out of breath. You must learn in
speaking and reading to take easily and quietly breath enough and _often
enough_ to supply the tone which is to be made into a single word, a
phrase, a sentence, or a series of sentences, and leave the mouth-breath
unexhausted, even unaffected. You must never catch your breath; the
breath must pass continuously, the _mouth-breath_ remaining a _constant_
quantity.

It was gratifying in my work with this master of tone production to find
that my own method in the training of the speaking voice was in accord
at almost every point with her method in the training of the singing
voice. In reprinting for you the exposition of my own method, as set
down in _The Speaking Voice_, I have found it necessary to make but few
changes. I have altered entirely the method of handling the tongue. I
have added a word as to the part the lips play in the production of
speech. In the few exercises it is safe to offer under the reinforcing
of tone I have used the _[=e]_ instead of the _ä_, convinced that it is
the more effective vowel sound through which to work for uninterrupted
tone.

It was also a pleasure to find my own instrument, through its training
for speech, adequately prepared for the work in song. The studies which
constitute _Part Three_ of this book, if faithfully attended, will fit
your voices for higher work in either art.


LEARNING TO SUPPORT THE TONE

Before attempting the exercises involved in the first step, let us
examine a tone in the making, or, rather, let us feel how it is
made--for the process of tone production, so far as it concerns us, is
not of physiological, but rather psychological, significance. The huge
tomes on the physiology of the voice which are of vital interest to the
student of anatomy are not only of no use, but are apt to be a positive
hindrance to the student of vocal training. A vivid picture of the
larynx or vocal cords, a cross-section of the trachea, or a highly
illuminated image of any of the cavities concerned in the production of
that most wonderful thing in the world, a pure tone of the human voice,
is a source of delight to the physiologist, but will only interfere with
that _feel_ for the free, full volume of sound which the student of
voice as an instrument of thought and emotion is to make, as a first
step in vocal training. Then, not as anatomists or physiologists, but as
makers of music, let us look at, let us feel for, a tone.

I am "stung by the splendor of a sudden thought"; I desire to share it
with you; the desire causes me to take a deep breath, a column of air
rises, is converted into tone, passes into the mouth, and is moulded
into the words which symbolize my thought. Let us, without further
analysis, try this. Close your eyes, think of some line of prose or
poetry which has moved you profoundly; let it take possession of you
until you are seized by the desire to voice it. Still with closed eyes,
feel yourself take the breath which is to be made into tone, and then
into the words which stand for the thought. Hold that sensation, and
study it with me for a moment. "But," you say, "the desire to voice the
thought does not seize me." Very well, let me ask you a question. "Do
you believe in examinations?" Now your thought was converted so swiftly
into speech that you had no time to study the conversion. Once more,
whether your answer be Yes or No, close your eyes and feel for the tone
you are to use in making the single word.

Now, a little more in detail, let us see what happens. A thought full of
emotion meets the question, the desire to answer is born; the need of
breath to meet the desire contracts the diaphragm (the pump); the chest
(the reservoir) fills; a column of air, pumped and controlled by the
diaphragm, and reinforced in the chest, rises, strikes the vocal cords
(the "strings" of the instrument), the strings vibrate, converting the
air into sound, into tone; the tone, reinforced in all the chambers of
the head, passes into the mouth, and is there moulded by the
juxtaposition of the organs of speech (lips, teeth, tongue) into the
word, the single, monosyllabic word, Yes or No, which frames the
thought. Now, once more, with closed eyes, sense the process and hold
the sensation, but do not speak the word. Now, still once more, and this
time, speak. Alas! did we say we were "makers of music"? Is this
harmony,--this harsh, hard, breathy, strident note? What is the trouble?

First of all, fundamental to all, and beyond a doubt the secret of the
dissonance, you did not breathe before you spoke or as you spoke. I
mean, really breathe. And that is the first point to be attacked.
Breathe, breathe, breathe! you must learn how to breathe; you must get
your pump, your diaphragm, into working order, you must master it, you
must control it, you must not fetter it, you must give it a free chance
to do its work. If you are a man, you have probably at least been fair
in not tying down your pump; you have not incased yourself in steel
bands and drawn them so tight that your diaphragm could not descend and
perform its office. Yes, and if you are the athletic girl of to-day, you
have probably learned the delight and benefit of free muscular action.
But you may still be suffering from the effect of your mother's crime in
this direction. It may have sent you into the world with weakened
muscles in control of the great pumping-station upon which must depend
the beauty of your voice.

But whatever the condition or the cause, it must, if wrong, be made
right. We must learn to breathe properly, freely, naturally. (Do not
confuse _naturally_ and "habitually." In this connection these terms are
opposites rather than synonyms.) To breathe naturally we must do away
with all constriction. We must choose between the alleged beauty of a
disproportionately small waist and the charm of a beautiful and
alluring voice. We cannot have both. Then, off with tight corsets! Thank
Heaven! they are the exception and not the rule to-day. Please note that
I distinctly do not say, "Off with corsets," but only "Off with
_ill-fitting_ corsets," for which tight is but another name. I believe,
to digress a moment, with our present method of dress, a properly fitted
corset is an absolute necessity, except in the rare instances where a
perfectly proportioned and slender figure is also under the control of
firm, well-trained muscles. In a first flush of rapture over the vision
of the gentle ladies of Mr. Howell's Altruria, seen _Through the Eye of
the Needle_, we feel that we can take a step toward that paradise by
discarding the strait-laced tailored torture the present-day costume
prescribes, for the corsetless grace of the Altrurian garment; but our
enthusiasm is short-lived, as we realize that we are in modern America
and must make as inconspicuously gracious an appearance as possible
without violating the conventions. So, as I say, do not discard the
corset, which is, for the majority of women, the saving grace of the
present fashion in dress; only see that your corset brings out what is
best in the figure God gave you, instead of disfiguring it, as undue
constriction of any part of your body will inevitably do. Incidentally,
by this precaution, save your voice as well.

But until we can be refitted, or readjust the corsets we already wear,
and the gowns made over them, we must avoid the discouraging effect of
trying to work against the odds of a costume which interferes with our
breathing, by making a practice of taking the breathing exercises
involved in the first step, at night and in the morning. Five minutes of
deep, free breathing from the diaphragm, lying flat on your back in bed
at night and before you rise in the morning, will accomplish the desired
result. The point in lying flat on your back is that in that position
alone you can be sure you are breathing naturally, which is
diaphragmatically. Indeed, you cannot, without great effort, and
sometimes not even then, breathe any other way than naturally. I cannot
tell you why. I can only say, try it and see.

Our first exercise, then, is to lie flat on the back at night and in the
morning, when you are perfectly free, and, with closed eyes, take deep,
long breaths, letting them go slowly, and studying the accompanying
sensation until it is fixed fast and you feel you cannot lose it, but
can reproduce, under any condition, the action which resulted in that
sensation. The incidental effect of this exercise is to make one very
sleepy. Indeed, nothing will so quickly and effectually put to flight
that foe of the society woman and business man of to-day, insomnia, as
the practice of deep, regular natural breathing. Add counting each
respiration, and it is an almost unfailing remedy. The only trouble for
our purpose is that it is sometimes so swiftly soporific that we are
asleep before the sensation is fixed fast and noted in consciousness:
which is one object of the exercise. However, should we find the
prescribed five minutes at night interfered with by coming drowsiness,
we may yield in sleepy content, "sustained and soothed" by the thought
that we shall be in splendid shape for the morning practice, with which
nothing must interfere, "not headache, or sciatica, or leprosy, or
thunder-stroke."

We are ready now for the third exercise. When, for five minutes in the
morning, lying flat on your back, with closed eyes, you have taken deep,
long breaths, letting them go slowly, yielding your whole body to the
act of respiration, noting the effect and fixing fast the sensation, as
a next step you are to stand up and repeat the operation. Still holding
the sensation (not by tightening your muscles, or clenching your fists,
or setting your teeth, but simply by thinking the sensation, letting it
possess you), in this attitude of mind breathe naturally, standing
instead of lying down. That is all. Don't be discouraged if the test
prove unsatisfactory at first. Try an intermediate step. Sit on the side
of your bed, or in a straight-back chair, and, closing your eyes and
relaxing all your muscles except those governing the diaphragm, breathe.
Now stand, well poised. By well poised, of course, you know I mean with
the weight perfectly balanced about the center of gravity, which, in
turn, means that a perpendicular dropped from the highest point of the
lifted chest without encountering any part of your body, and especially
not your abdomen (which should be held always back, so that it is flat,
if not actually concave) will fall unobstructed to the floor, striking a
point just between the balls of your feet. Standing thus, well poised,
place the right hand on your body, just below your ribs at the base of
the lungs, and your left hand on your back, just opposite your right
hand; then breathe, and feel the diaphragm, as it descends, cause the
torso, in turn, to expand from front to back, pressing against either
hand. Let the breath go slowly, controlling its emission by controlling
the diaphragm.

So the three exercises stand progressively thus:

_First._--Breathe naturally, which is diaphragmatically, five minutes at
night. (At first you can be sure of doing this only by lying flat on
your back.)

_Second._--Breathe naturally, which is diaphragmatically, for five
minutes in the morning, and note the sensation.

_Third._--Stand and test your newly acquired power by trying to breathe
diaphragmatically while on your feet.

These three exercises constitute the first step in the first stage of
vocal training, and that step is called _Learning to Support the Tone_.

I know a little girl who, in the beginning of her career, alarmed her
parents by refusing to utter a syllable or the semblance of a syllable
until she was three years old, when she evidently considered herself
ready for her maiden effort at speech. Prepared she proved, for, sitting
at the window in her high-chair one day, watching people pass, she
remarked quietly and with perfect precision, "There goes Mrs. Tibbets."
I find myself secretly wishing it were possible for you to refrain from
speech, not for three years, but for three weeks, while you quietly
prepare for speech by practising these three breathing exercises. It is
quite the customary thing (or ought to be) for the teacher of voice as
an instrument of song to require of the student a period of
silence--that is, a period in which only exercises are allowed, and
songs, even the simplest, are forbidden. However, our only way to secure
this condition would be to go into retreat; but, after all, one of the
most encouraging things about this work is the remarkable effect upon
the speaking voice of simply holding the thought of the right condition
for tone, _thinking_ the three exercises I have given you. It is not so
remarkable, perhaps, in the light of the experiment recently made (I am
told) in one of our great colleges, when three men daily performed a
certain exercise, and three other men simply thought it intensely, and
the resultant effect upon the muscles used in the act was marvelously
similar. I am half afraid to have recalled this, lest you take advantage
of the suggestion and relax your effort, or, out of curiosity, make the
experiment. Please don't. I offer it only as an incentive to you, to
_think_ at least of the desired condition, if you cannot every day
indulge in an active effort to attain it.

Please test at once the immediate effect of this third exercise. Take
the attitude I have defined, and try once more any full-voweled
syllable. I think you will find the tone already improved.


LEARNING TO FREE THE TONE

We have worked, so far, for support of tone. We must now free the
supported tone, by freeing the channel for the emission of the breath as
it is converted into tone and moulded into speech. We shall find that in
learning to support the tone we have gone far toward securing that
freedom; but the habit of years is not easily overcome, and every time
you have spoken without proper support of breath you have _forced_ the
tone _from_ the _throat_, by tightening the muscles and closing the
channel, thus making conditions which must now be reformed by steady,
patient effort. Yet it is not effort I want from you now; it is _lack_
of effort. It is _passivity_; it is _surrender_. I want you to relax
all the muscles which govern the organs concerned in converting the
breath into tone and moulding the tone into speech, all the muscles
controlling the throat and mouth, including the lips and jaw. I want
utter passivity of the parts from the point where the column of breath
strikes the vocal cords to where, as tone, it is moulded into the word
"No." Surrender to the desire to utter that word. Concentrate your
thought on two things: the taking of the breath and the word it is to
become. Now, lying down, or sitting easily, lazily, in a comfortable
chair, or standing leaning against the wall, with closed eyes, surrender
to the thought "No," and, taking a breath, speak. Still hard and
unmusical you find? Yes, but I am sure not so hopelessly hard as before.
What shall we do to relax the tense muscles, to release the throat and
free the channel? At the risk of being written down a propagandist, in
the ranks of the extreme dress-reformers, I shall say, first of all,
take off those high, tight collars. Again, as with the corset, it is a
case of a misfit rather than too tight a fit. If your collar is cut to
fit, it need not be too high nor too tight for comfort, and it will
still be becoming. You want it to cling to the neck and keep the line.
Cut it to fit, and it will keep the line; then put in pieces of
whalebone, if necessary, or resort to some of the many other devices now
in vogue for keeping the soft collar erect, but don't choke yourself,
either by fastening it too tight or cutting it too high. But how simple
it would be if we could relax the tension by doffing our ill-fitting
corsets and collars. Alas! the trouble is deeper seated than that.

It is an indisputable and most unfortunate fact that nervous tension
registers itself more easily in the muscles about the mouth and throat
than anywhere else. So, if we live as do even the children of to-day,
under excitement, and so in a state of nervous tension, the habit of
speaking with the channel only half open is quickly formed, and the
voice becomes shrill and harsh. You have noticed that the more emphatic
one grows in argument the higher and harder the voice becomes, and,
incidentally, the less convincing the argument. This is true of all
excitement; the nervous tension accompanying it constricts the throat,
and the result is a closed channel. To learn instinctively to refer this
tension for registration not to the throat, but to the diaphragm, is a
part of vocal training. This can be easily accomplished with children,
and the habit established of taking a deep breath under the influence of
any emotion. This breath will cause the throat to open instead of shut,
and the tone to grow full, deep, and round, instead of high and harsh.
The full, deep, round tone will carry twice as far as the high, harsh,
breathy one. The one deep breath resulting in the full, deep tone
may--nay, will--often serve the same purpose as Tattycoram's "Count
five-and-twenty," and save the angry retort.

It is useless to regret, on either ethical or aesthetic grounds, that we
were not taught in childhood to take the deep breath and make the deep
tone. But let us look to it that the voices and dispositions of our
children are not allowed to suffer. Meanwhile, in correcting the fault
in the use of our own instruments, we shall go far toward establishing
the proper condition with the next generation, since the child is so
mimetic that, to hear sweet, quiet, low tones about him will have more
effect than much technical training in keeping his voice free and
musical. In the same way, the child who hears good English spoken at
home seems less dependent upon text-books in grammar and rhetoric to
perfect his verbal expression than the child who is not so fortunate in
this respect.

To insure the registration of nervous tension in the muscles controlling
the diaphragm and not the throat--that is, to form the habit of
breathing deeply when speaking under the influence of emotion, is our
problem. The present fault in registration will be found to be different
with each one of us, or, at least, will cause us "to flock together"
according to the place of registration. Each must locate for himself his
own difficulty, or go to a vocal specialist and have it located. The
tension may be altogether in the muscles governing the throat, or it
may be in those about the mouth. There is the resultant, _breathy_ tone,
the _hard_ tone, the _nasal_ tone, the _guttural_ tone, the tone that
issues from a set jaw or an unruly tongue. All mean tension of muscles
somewhere, and must be met by relaxation of these muscles and the
freeing of the channel. How to relax the throat shall be our initial
point of attack. A suggestion made by my first teacher proved most
helpful to me, a suggestion so simple that I did not for the moment take
it seriously. "Think," she said, "how your throat feels just before you
yawn." "Yes," I replied, irrelevantly, "and just after you have eaten a
peppermint--that cool, delicious, open sensation." This impressed her as
significant, but not so effective as her suggestion to me, which I felt
to be true when I began to think of it seriously, and so, of course, to
yawn furiously. Try it.

Think of the yawn. Close your eyes and feel how the deep breath with
which the yawn begins (the need of which, indeed, caused it) opens the
throat, relaxing all the muscles. Now, instead of yawning, speak. The
result will be a good tone, simply because the condition for tone was
right. The moment the yawn actually arrives, the condition is lost, the
throat closes; but in that moment before the break into the yawn, the
muscles about the throat relax and the channel opens, as the muscles
controlling the diaphragm tighten and the deep breath is taken.

These, then, are the first exercises in the second step in vocal
training. This step is called _Freeing the Tone_.

_First._--Yawn, noting the sensation.

_Second._--Just before the throat breaks into the yawn, stop, and,
instead of carrying out the yawn, speak. Repeat this fifty times a day,
or ten times, as often as you will. Only, keep at it. Take always a
single full-voweled monosyllable; _one_, or _four_, or _no_, or _love_,
or _loop_, or _dove_, etc.

We cannot, in a printed consideration, touch more in detail upon
individual cases, but must confine ourselves to these simple exercises,
which will, in general, be swiftly and effectively remedial.

But we must not stop with the throat, which is but part of the channel
involved in the emission of breath as speech. There is the tense jaw to
be reckoned with--the jaw set by nervous tension, the jaw which refuses
to yield itself to the moulding of the tone into the beautiful open
vowel and the clean-cut consonant which make our words so interesting to
utter. It is the set jaw which, forcing the tone to squeeze itself out,
causes it to sound thin and hard. Again, it is surrender and not effort
I want. Just as I should try to secure the relaxation of your arm or
hand by asking you to surrender it to me, drop it a dead weight at your
side for me to lift as I choose, so now I ask you to surrender your
lower jaw to yourself. Let it go.

Drop your head forward, resting your chin on your chest. Then raise your
head, but not your chin. Let your mouth fall open. Assume for the moment
that mark of the feeble-minded, the idiotic, the dropped-open mouth,
just long enough to note the sensation. Place your fingers on either
side of your head where the jaws conjoin, and open your mouth quickly
and with intention. Note the action under your finger-tips. Now let the
mouth fall open, by simply surrendering the lower jaw, and note this
time the lack of action under your fingers, at the juncture of the jaws.
It is this passive surrender which we must learn to make, if we find, on
investigation, that we are speaking through a half-open mouth held fast
by a set jaw. The set jaw resists and distorts the mould, and the beauty
of the form of the word which flows from the mould is lost; the relaxed
jaw yields to the moulding of the perfectly modeled word.

In practising this relaxation there is very little danger of going too
far, since the set jaw is the indication of a tense habit of thought, of
a high-strung temperament, and this habit of thought will never become,
through the practise of an outward mechanical exercise, the slack habit
of thought which is evidenced by the loose dropping of words from a too
relaxed jaw--a habit which must be met by quite the opposite method of
treatment. There are many exercises involved in vocal training which
must be directed very carefully for a time before the student can be
trusted to practise them alone; so I am confining myself in this, as in
every step we take together, to the simple, fundamental, and at the same
time perfectly safe ones.

To review those for relaxation of the lower jaw:

_First._--Drop the head until the chin rests upon the breast. Raise the
head, but not the lower jaw.

_Second._--With eyes devoid of intelligence and the mouth dropped open,
shake the head until you feel the weight of the lower jaw--until the
lower jaw seems to hang loosely from the upper jaw and to be shaken by
it, as your hand, when you shake it from the wrist, seems to be
commanded by the arm, and to have no volition of its own.

_Third._--Test your ability to surrender the jaw by placing your fingers
on either side your head in front of the ears at the conjunction of the
jaws, and first open your mouth with intention, noting the action; then
think the word No, and surrender the jaw to the forming of the word,
noting the action or absence of action again.

So much for the set jaw. Ten or fifteen minutes a day--yes, even five
minutes a day of actual practice with the constant thought of surrender,
will reward you. Try it.

And still the channel is not open. There remains that most unruly
member, the tongue. Dora Duty Jones refers all faults of technique in
speech to failure in the management of the tongue. Miss Jones bases her
entire system upon the three words, "On the tongue," in Hamlet's
injunction to the players: speak the speech ... trippingly _on the
tongue_. That this organ plays a vital part in the presentation of
speech is not to be questioned; that it is the chief actor may be
disputed. But whether the tongue is to play a main or a minor part the
training to which Miss Jones would subject it is most interesting, and
_The Technique of Speech_[14] should belong to the library of every
student of expression. The only danger of this training lies in that of
making the tongue a self-conscious actor. What we require of the tongue
is that it shall act as a free agent in modeling the perfect word. Many
of the exercises given by Miss Jones can be safely attempted only after
the preparatory freeing of the organ has been accomplished, but all of
them will eventually repay investigation.

[14] _The Technique of Speech_, by Dora Duty Jones, published by Harper
& Brothers.

Meanwhile the following drill for freeing the tongue ought to develop
the agility we desire:

_First._--Combine _l_ (which may be called the tongue's pet consonant)
with _ä_ and repeat the syllable _la_ with constantly increasing speed
to form the following groups: _lä'_ ... _lä lä lä'_ ... _lä lä lä'_ ...
_lä'_ ... _lä'_.

_Second._--Change the accent over the vowel and repeat the exercise
until all the sounds of _a_ are exhausted in combination with the _l_.

_Third._--Change the vowel and repeat the exercise until all the vowels
have been used in combination with _l_.

_Fourth._--Change the consonant to _d_, then to _t_, then _n_, and
repeat the exercise.

_Fifth._--Follow these exercises on groups of syllables with work on
groups of words of one syllable beginning with _l_, such as: _late_,
_lade_, _lane_, _lame_; _last_, _lack_, _lank_, _lapse_, _laugh_;
_lean_, _least_, _leak_, _leap_, _lead_, etc.

Remember, we are considering primarily speech-_tone_ and not speech
form, and that our aim in the exercise of the tongue is to keep it from
interrupting the tone.

And now a word must be said as to the part the lips take in speech. It
must be only a word, because here more than at any other point the work
needs the careful supervision of a trained ear and trained eyes. Madame
Ricardo yields to the lips control of the tongue, as she gives to the
diaphragm control of the breath. I think she would make _easily on the
lips_ rather than "trippingly on the tongue" the controlling principle
in tone and speech. I shall give you but one exercise:

Combine the speech process _m_ with the vowel _[=e]_ and let the tone
explode easily on the lips in the repeated syllable, _m[=e]_, _m[=e]_,
_m[=e]_.


LEARNING TO REINFORCE THE TONE

And now we turn from the second step in the training to the third and
last step--the _reinforcing_ of the supported and freed tone. It is
again a freeing process. This time we are to free the cavities now
closed against the tone; we are to use the walls of these cavities as
sounding-boards for tone, as they were designed to be, so reinforcing
the tone and letting it issue a resonant, bell-like note with the
carrying power resonance alone can give, instead of the thin, dull,
colorless sound which conveys no life to the word into which it is
moulded by the organs of speech. How shall we free these cavities? I
find myself now impatient of the medium of communication we are using. I
want to make the tone for you. I want, for instance, to shut off the
nasal cavity and let you hear the resultant nasal note, thin, high,
unresonant, which hardly reaches the first member of my audience; then I
want you to hear the tone flood into the nasal cavity, and, reinforced
there by the vibration from the walls of the cavity, grow a resonant,
ringing, bell-like note, which will carry to the farthest corner of the
room without the least increase in loudness. But we must be content with
the conditions imposed by print.

First, you must realize that so-called "talking through the nose" is not
talking _through_ the nose at all, but rather failure to do so--that is,
instead of letting the tone flood into the nasal cavity, to be
reinforced there by striking against the walls of the cavity, which act
as sounding-boards for the tone confined within that cavity, we shut off
the cavity, and refuse the tone its natural reinforcement. It takes on,
as a result, a thin, unresonant quality which we call nasal, although it
is thin and unpleasing because it lacks _true nasal resonance_. The only
remedy lies in ceasing to shut off the cavity. Think the sound [=oo].
Let the tone on which it is to be borne grow slowly in thought, filling,
filling, and, as it grows, flooding the whole face. Let it press
against your lips (in thought only as yet), feel your nostrils expand,
your face grow alive between the eyes and the upper lip, that area so
often inanimate, lifeless, even in a mobile, animated countenance. Now
let the sound come, but let it follow the thought, flood the face, let
the nostrils expand, feel the nasal cavity fill with sound; let it go on
up into the head and strike the forehead and the eye-sockets and the
walls of all the cavities so unused to the impact of sound, which should
never have been shut out. Now begin, with lips closed, a humming note,
_m-m-m_. Let it come flooding into the face, until it presses against
the lips, demanding the open mouth. Now let it open the mouth into the
_e_. Repeat this over and over--_m-[=e]_, _m-[=e]_, _m-[=e]_. Don't let
the tone drop back as the mouth opens. Keep it forward behind the upper
lip, which it has made full, and which, playing against, it tickles
until we _must_ let the tone escape. Just as much of the day as
possible, think the tone in a flood into the face, and as often as
possible hum and let it escape, noting its increasing resonance. It
will increase in resonance, I promise you. It will lose its thin,
high-pitched nasal quality, and grow mellow and rich and ringing.

And so, with chest lifted, diaphragm at work, throat open, tongue free,
jaws relaxed, and all the cavities concerned in vocalization open to the
tone, as you breathe and yawn and hum, let it issue a full, round,
resonant, singing note to add itself to the music of the world.


A LAST WORD TO THE PUPIL

Mr. William James tells us that we learn to swim in winter and to skate
in summer. The principle underlying this statement is of immense comfort
in approaching a class in vocal expression. The hope of satisfying
results is fostered by the knowledge that a mere statement of the
fundamental facts of right tone production will do much toward inducing
a right condition for tone. But I know, too, that immediate results
depend upon immediate and faithful putting into practice of the
principles set forth. A little practice every day will work swift
wonders with the voice. And so, in leaving with you Madame Ricardo's
watchwords, I also commend you to Ellen Terry's "infinite pains." When
it means, as it does in pursuing this ideal, that we must be _on guard_
every waking instant--_for a time_; when it means a watch set (for a
time) upon every organ involved in expression--lips, teeth, tongue, jaw,
mouth, throat, chest, diaphragm, and all the muscles governing these
organs; when it means a watch set (for a time) upon one's every thought
and emotion lest it make false demands upon the sensitive instruments of
their expression--then it becomes a daring device, indeed, to wear upon
one's crest. Let us not hesitate to carve it there, when we realize that
to follow it means culture, true culture, the culture which can only
come through control and command of one's self.


TO THE TEACHER

When I consider how much depends in the training of a voice upon
listening to the made tone, how little depends upon knowing how it was
made, I realize that it is _your ear_, not my book, which must become
the real guide in this _Study of Vocal Expression_.





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