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Foundations of Expression

Studies and Problems for Developing the Voice, Body, and Mind in

Reading and Speaking

By e S. S. Curry, Ph.D., Litt.D. President of the School of Expression, Author of ‘‘The Province of Expression,’’ ‘‘Lessons in Vocal Expression,’’ ‘‘Imagina-

tion and Dramatic Instinct,’’ ‘‘Vocal and Literary Interpretation of the Bible,’’ etc.

>

Boston

The Expression Company Pierce Builling, Copley Square

Copyright, 1907, by 6. S. CURRY

A WORD ON THE POINT OF VIEW

The Muse of Eloquence and the Muse of Liberty, it has been said, are twin sisters. A free people must be a race of speakers. The perversion or neglect of oratory has always been accompanied by the degradation of freedom.

The importance of speaking to a true national life, and to the forwarding of all reforms, can hardly be overesti- mated; but it is no less necessary to the development of the individual. Expression is the manifestation of life, and speaking in some form is vitally necessary for the assimilation of truth and the awakening to a con- sciousness of personal power.

Since the invention of printing, the written word has been overestimated in education, and living speech has been greatly neglected. Recent discoveries of the neces- sity of developing the motor centres have revived interest in the living voice.

With this revival of interest the inadequacy of modern elocutionary methods has come to be realized. Such methods have been based usually upon imitation and artificial or mechanical analysis, and consist of mere rules founded upon phraseology, the modulations of the voice being governed by rules of grammar or rhetoric instead of by the laws of thought. Neither the nature nor functions of the voice modulations have been recog- nized. An able college graduate, and head of an edu- cational institution, once acknowledged to me that he had never thought of a voice modulation as having a distinct meaning of its own with power to change even the meaning of a phrase.

This book outlines the results of some earnest endeavors to study anew the problem of developing the voice and body and improving reading and speaking. The attempt has been made to find psychological causes, not only of

2

4 A WORD ON THE POINT OF VIEW

the expressive modulations of the voice, but of the condi- tions of mind and body required for its right training and correct use,

The usual view is that every defect in the use of the voice is associated with some local constriction, and that for every abnormal habit or action some exercise to restore the specific part can always be found. While this is true, it is but a half truth. Every abnormal action or condition has its cause in the mind. Hence technical training must always be united with work for the removal of the causes of faults, and for the awakening of the primary actions and conditions. This enables the student to become himself conscious of right modes of expression, develops him without imitation or mechanical rules, and produces no artificial results. Even when the right technical exercise is prescribed for a fault in reading or speaking it is often ineffective on account of wrong or mechanical practice on the part of the student, or a lack of attention on the part of teacher or student to the real psychological causes of the abnormal conditions.

In seeking for such exercises as are safe for classes, for private study, or where specific technical exercises cannot be given individually by a teacher, and such as require primary mental action or at least apply practi- cally and naturally the results of technical training, what are here called problems have been found most helpful. Technical exercises, to accomplish any good result, must be carefully prescribed by the teacher and practised under his direction so that the exact part may be made to act in just the right way. In large classes and with young students this is well-nigh impossible.

These exercises stimulate the primary mental actions, cause the normal response of voice, and furnish an intro- duction or practical addition to technical exercises; they prevent artificial results, stimulate normal growth, are more interesting, cause more complete self study, and are safer for practice alone. To accomplish these ends, what are called in this book problems have been found most helpful. One who will systematically practise these inductive studies will be led step by step to the right use of

A WORD ON THE POINT OF VIEW 5

his voice, and to a conscious command of its expressive modulations.

Such practice has its difficulties. It requires care, perseverance, self study, a harmonious use of thinking and feeling, insight into what is fundamental rather than accidental, exercise of the imagination to hold a situation, and of the sympathetic instinct to yield breathing, voice, and body to its dominion.

Students and teachers, especially those who have been accustomed to mechanical or imitative methods, will at first consider such a method impractical. But patient, persevering practice for a few lessons will be followed by such an awakening of interest, such a realization of the true nature of expression, and such satisfactory results, that there is little danger of a return to artificial methods. Such training with careful study of himself on the part of the student, especially if directed by a true teacher possessing insight, will accomplish surprising results.

The student should regard no probiem as trivial, but should practise it faithfully and the lesson will solve for him difficulties not seen at the time.

Teachers will of course, according to the earnestness of students and opportunities for practice, add technical exercises at certain points complementary to these prob- lems. For information regarding additional exercises or explanation, the author’s other works should be con- sulted. For example: ‘“‘ The Province of Expression,” ‘“‘ Lessons in Vocal Expression,’’ ‘‘ Imagination and Dra- matic Instinct,” ‘‘ Vocal and Literary Interpretation of the Bible,’? and especially the books on the training of voice and body soon to be published.

The student is urged not to accept passively the super- ficial views of delivery so prevalent at the present time, but to study himself anew, to take the problems in their order and work upon them with a receptive and teach- able spirit until he masters this most difficult but most important phase of education.

; 8. S. C. School of Expression, Copley Square, Boston.

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CONTENTS

Page

A WORD ON THE POINT OF VIEW. ......... ike bas 3 I. UNPRINTED ELEMENTS OF EXPRESSION. .... be

I. Modes) of Expression e— nar. wane. sas Beaker ee tere aise 9

a. the Nature.of) Expression 49% -s.) ols) ones 10

3. The Mental Cause of Expression ......... Ir

4. Organic Means of Expression .......... 13

5. Fundamentals and Accidentals .......4... 14

II. CONCENTRATION AND ITS EXPRESSION ..... 19

r= Elements of Thinking ais) haw). e Peel canescens, «sc 19

Dit PAUSC pede o- cer bs Piette iden te lou ren cpa tec ca. al conic satire 24

55 Bey Ci Bao te te St) Ow ouimoeth Ol Soto ond at ad 27

Mee TOUCH SS os 3) Uae Eee alr Ake OeuteL ar telee erste cl 1 gr

III. DISCRIMINATION AND INTERVALS... ......... 43

IV. ATTITUDE OF MIND AND INFLEXION........ 49

Toe Direction of; Intlexion st mene teae letter on ain 50

2, Length ofpinflexions is. ca ec81s sek. “Gucentene ots 4.6 52

32:Abruptness of inflexions 0. 0) sien eines) el ence 55

4. Complex Modulations of Inflexion ..... Sina Tete SO

Sn Freedom, Of, Inflexion ss. 5... fete ce ten ene uisihis 57

V. RESPONSE OF THE ORGANISM ..........-. 61

VI. CONDITIONS AND QUALITIES OF VOICE ....... 69

Taewundamental- Principles sc eral selec en cles as 70)

2. Correct Method of Breathing. ........ ae GAD

aver reedom Ole lOne i - wemisat sis) Scneomcns Cte OS

VII. VOICE AND BODY :........ ti ETS Oh 0 CPOE OB.)

1:) Expansion’ ofthe Body =~ . <)>) :..bs suena fives ey 90

2. Elevation and Centrality of the Body ....... Or

VIII. LOGICAL RELATIONS OF IDEAS ...... BS a ee?

x. Relative Value of Ideas. . ......%4%. wt eT,

2.7 Centrality of Ideas, Ws; 1.) 3,0) aft ees Meekt es fel ass a: 56 103

SsprAntithesisg: sae cites) ose sas cas st) ser a) X06

IX SMODESEORDEMPHASISi es pence «fener atnie tee fa nents XIX

Gs, pbebil poop) Ebatel MVR bab a my o aed tele: ea ek

2. .ChangérofeKey and Range) iy.) 2st. bans cee) en eee 113

Z-aRhytimicthimphasis wear amon. mee unto neion ire IIs

4 em phaticn Pause ae een Pcd/ei ctiicd ihe ire ackrot rei i186

8 CONTENTS

Page Ke AGILITY OF “VOICE © cs et te eee Jaw i Ws 123 x. The Training of the Ear ...... Rm Choe SEMI 2. -Intervallic (Agility (0:0. a eer ss 8s er i Ree sea a kO 3: inflexional (Agilityie yc 0s: ye ert snes POO ers do Le rf 4</-Range: of Voice cagimarc: isyts lciieuicie meet sis , ws sv 130

XL SPONTANEOUS ACTIONS OF THE MIND AND MODU, LATIONS OF THE VOICE 3. ca es 135 Too Visio‘ 7) ) 2-42) snus deuce esau n don emeemooeieiess tae soe cals 138 2. VEMAPINA ON sa. ince ens ety cet MERE Suter i slo), scl ae 143 ‘33: SMOtION 5): /-) pate cache el ace CEE RE mae oo cue 149 4. Development of Spontaneous Action ....... 152 XII. -TONE-COLOR oc spe. ord ano eee CEE eon 159 XI. SECONDARY VIBRATIONS OF TONE ......... 169 XIV. PANTOMIMIC CONDITIONS OF TONE ......... 183 XV.. MOULDING TONE INTO) WORDS 2). 22 2. 3% 3. 193 AVE, KFORCE “AND: TTSPEXPRESSION) . je ee ee ee ee 201 x. Volumee®Qimecine: Ek. cee 20 ROCs. 203 2ccintensity in vo ie il syastta ae evens beteAeen iumca veteei 206 XVII. SUPPORT AND STRENGTH OF VOICE ........ 217 XVIII. FLEXIBILITY OR RVOICES. eno cimciieee) Deans cubes o0se 225 IocAccentuation:";-.. ... + MAB OMS LA a en cide t testes 225 2. Centrality and Subordinate Touch ........ 226 IZ ste een onsen ee SEAL Oh els So Rene Ke TERT SEM arenes 227 XIX. ASSIMILATION AND SYMPATHY. ........... 239 Zo identifica tion: 3% aics rage! lag Sanokg sa A Cet ie Reta 240 2. Personation and Participation PET INE MES cry Paea ee 243 3. Dramatic Instinct . a2 shaban fakey lets @aeueg 245 4. Purposes ..... PO EOL tees eee STL? KP MOVEMENT a0 oS tee, coraines sp acunel en tei Lat rer mea tanen retreats 261 RTCA C TIONS ory isteie, 2) tog Secemce: ouast astkenksieta cantante pice oe yA} KAI CUNITY: (OR DELIVERY (15 paul. te wales cunticenaleeutemeen < 6 293 Tov Transition. cian ig os RANA Teen came 294

2 WHALMONY weed she ari oon e te ose wade w 296

FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

I. UNPRINTED ELEMENTS OF EXPRESSION.

Read the following lines in two ways, first, as an abstract statement of fact; and secondly, suggesting as much depth of meaning as pos- sible, and note the chief differences in the renderings.

Two prisoners looked out from behind their bars; One saw the mud, —the other saw the stars.

In the first rendering the words follow each other almost continuously; in the second, there are many pauses, variations, and modulations of the voice. While the words remain the same the impressions caused by the two renderings are very different, and the elements which cause this difference cannot be clearly defined.

These unprintable elements constitute delivery. They are distinct from words and have a meaning of their own, for though all the modulations of the voice are directly associated with words they express that which words cannot say.

1. MoDES OF EXPRESSION. All natural conversa- tion consists of three elements: words, modulations of tone, and action. Words represent ideas and name objects of attention, events, or qualities. Modulations of tone while simultaneous with words have a meaning distinct from words and can be changed without chang- ing pronunciation. They reveal degrees of conviction, processes of thinking, attitudes of mind and feeling. Actions, such as the expansion of the body, changes of

9

Io FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

countenance, and motions of the hand or head, express character, purpose, degrees of excitement, and self- control. While distinct from each other, these words, tones, and actions co-operate and act simultaneously ; as each reveals something which cannot be expressed by the others, they complement each other, and when sympathetically and naturally co-ordinated, thought is expressed with far greater clearness and force than is possible otherwise.

It is the problem of delivery to develop each of these elements of expression according to its distinct nature and function, and to bring them all into harmonious co-operation.

2. THE NATURE OF EXPRESSION. As the leaf mani- fests the life at the root of the tree; as the bobolink’s song is the outflow of a full heart; so all expression obeys the same law; it comes FROM WITHIN OUTWARD, from the centre to the surface, from a hidden source to outward manifestation. However deep may be the life, it reveals itself outwardly by natural signs.

Expression in man is governed by the same law. Every action of face or hand, every modulation of voice, is simply an outward effect of an inward con- dition. Any motion or tone that is otherwise is not expression.

A machine is manipulated from without, but an organism is modulated from within. Man can, on the one hard, produce by his will certain actions of body and inflexions of voice; he can, for example, imitate the action or speech of another, or obey mere mechanical directions; but, on the other hand, he can obey the spontaneous energies of his being. The results of the first process are artificial and mechanical; the results of the second, a genuine awakening of man’s powers, with true force and naturalness of expression.

One of the first steps in the development of expression

UNPRINTED ELEMENTS OF EXPRESSION Iz

must be a recognition of the necessity of genuine possession. IMPRESSION must precede and determine all EXPRESSION, and it will be noted that the tendency toward expression is directly proportionate to this inner fullness, while mere surface work causes superficiality.

Observe this spontaneous tendency of realization to determine expression, by reading two short passages widely contrasted. If superficially apprehended, or the mere words be given, they will appear practically the same, but in proportion to the genu- ine realization of the thought and feeling will the modulations of the voice differ.

Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough. Arie] in The Tempest.”’ SHAKESPEARE.

Though love repine and reason chafe, I heard a voice without reply,

*Tis man’s perdition to be safe, When for the truth he ought to die.

EMERSON. 3. THE MENTAL CAUSE OF EXPRESSION. The un~ printed and unprintable modulations of voice and body are so natural and necessary to the simplest sentence in conversation, that, one would naturally think, their nature and function would be recognized by everyone; but as a matter of fact, the subject of delivery is uni- versally misunderstood and neglected. The simplest modulations of the voice, as well as the primary actions of the body, are hardly recognized or their functions distinguished. Expression is employed blindly and is rarely considered a proper subject of education. So superficial is the conception of the elements of delivery that they are universally regarded as mere matters of manner, and the methods adopted for their development

are often founded upon imitation or mechanical rules. All true expression is not only from within outward

12 FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

but from the mind. Modulations of voice and body are directly responsive to the deepest life.

That expression is a mental and not a physical thing is shown by the fact that all true expression is more or less spontaneous and subconscious. Its elements can- not all be reduced to rule. At the best rules can be applied only to a very few of the more accidental and external elements. Expression is infinitely complex, and to start with the idea that delivery belongs to the body and can be regulated by rules or conscious direc- tions is sure to produce superficial results.

To realize that the nature of expression is the direct effect of mental action, read a line or a short passage first listlessly or with indifference and then with 3 intense earnestness, and it will be seen that the expression is natural and forcible in direct proportion to the clearness, force, and variation of the thinking.

Long sleeps the summer in the seed. . In Memoriam.” TENNYSON.

A BOOK.

He ate and drank the precious words, His spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, Nor that his frame was dust. He danced along the dingy days; And this bequest of wings Was but a book. What liberty A loosen’d spirit brings! EMILY DICKINSON.

If some passage with an extreme transition be truly rendered, at the very point of the change in situ- ation, thought, or feeling will come changes in the modulations of the voice.

If the changes of expression do not occur, observe first, whether the situation and ideas were truly felt; second, whether the organs of the voice were normally used; and third, whether there was a true conception of

UNPRINTED ELEMENTS OF EXPRESSION 13

the nature and function of the modulations necessary to the expression.

“By the God that made thee, Randolph, tell us what mischance has come’’; Then he lifts the riven banner, and the asker’s voice is dumb.

* Battle of Flodden Field.” AYTOUN.

A little thought will show that language is always a means, and that in the natural languages the modula- tions of tone and action directly reveal the processes of the mind. Expression is perfect in proportion to the directness of its revelation of mental energy. Too much attention to the mere externals of expression, a study of modulation or action without observing and securing control of the mental cause, will render all work in delivery inadequate and mechanical.

4. ORGANIC MEANS OF EXPRESSION. Notwithstand- ing the natural tendencies of right mental and emo- tional action to cause true changes in expression, in many cases even an extreme change of thought or emo- tion does not in reading and speaking cause a change in the voice.

Why? Because the voice has become constricted from misuse, habits of indifference in reading, a mechan- ical view of speaking, a neutral, negative attitude of mind, or a lack of sympathy has perverted the natural responsiveness of the vocal organs.

Hence, not only must the cause of expression be awakened; the right means must also be secured. Vocal expression is the modulation of living organs. These must be flexible and used naturally.

Work for the attuning of the organism is vitally necessary and must go hand in hand with the develop- ment of the right use of the modulations of the voice and all work for expression.

The development of normal conditions and possibil-

14 FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

ities of the organism is called training. Nature’s own functions, methods, and processes must be studied to find the basis for development. Training implies exer- cises, or the accentuation of natural and fundamental actions which must be so practised as to correct bad habits, and develop the normal and best conditions of the organism. Exercise may be technical, or the direct volitional practice of a fundamental action; and psychic, or the specific practice of that mental action which tends to cause the right expressive action, or to estab- lish conditions for such action.

Both of these means of training are necessary, but in this work psychic exercises, here called problems, are chiefly used because they are safer for the use of the student alone or in class. Technical exercises, however, can be introduced from the author’s other works by the teacher when the class is small and the students suffi- ciently earnest to be willing to practise alone, carefully and regularly. Psychic exercises also demand practice, but practice upon these is more interesting and less liable to be perverted by the student on account of the fact that it primarily calls for mental effort. The psychic exercise is also more synthetic; the technical exercise more analytic. The psychic exercise calls for earnestness and observation; the technical exercise demands great precision and care.

5. FUNDAMENTALS AND ACCIDENTALS. The develop- ment of expression implies necessarily an inner awaken- ing, a stimulation of faculties and powers, a securing of a deeper impression, and more vital realization of truth.

Accordingly, the problem of improving expression is not only important for its own sake, but modulations of voice and actions of the body are so directly connected with activities of being that to become conscious of the

UNPRINTED ELEMENTS OF EXPRESSION 15

function of any elemental modulation and to develop its power requires the awakening of the whole nature. True work in expression must necessarily be associated with a discovery of one’s self.

For the same reason the problem of developing delivery is difficult. Some even doubt the possibility of its development. How can the spontaneous actions of the mind, for example, be stimulated? How can complex modulations of the voice and actions of the whole body be awakened and brought into anything like unity, especially if we are to discard mechanical rules and imitation?

The general characteristic of a true method of devel- oping expression needs careful attention. Throughout all nature we find an infinite variety of phenomena. Expression necessarily implies infinite complexity, but in the midst of seemingly the most confused mass of elements we find a principle upon which all else rests. For example, if we examine the numberless shades and tints of color we find only three that are primary. Chem- istry has proven that there are but few elements which form the basis of material objects.

Similarly, in all the complex modulations of the voice and actions of the body we can find a few primary elements upon which all the varied results are founded. By finding and developing these, and bringing them into conscious recognition, the key to natural expression is found. When we recognize these fundamentals develop them normally and realize their function the mind is enthroned. All the subconscious involuntary, and even accidental elements, will respond in natural fulness from the accentuation of those primary elements upon which all the modulations rest.

Work upon fundamentals does not produce self- consciousness, in fact such work corrects it. Self-con- sciousness results from a perversion of nature, from

16 FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

focussing attention upon accidentals, and not upon fundamentals; from abnormal constrictions, and some kind of hindrance.

The removal of self-consciousness implies develop- ment of elemental conditions. ‘‘ Work upon acciden- tals secures mediocre results; work upon fundamentals develops power.’? There are innumerable illustrations of this principle. To work upon mere accidents of phrasing, to lay down rules where to pause, will super- ficialize all expression. On the contrary, expression will be made natural and forcible by developing the rhythm of thinking, by securing the power to conceive vivid ideas and impressions, and by awakening that instinctive action of the mind in which vivid, clear ideas gather words into groups, which is the character~ istic of naturalness in conversation.

It will be found in every step of training, in all true work in expression, no matter under what phase of it, that the principle holds good. First, find the funda- mentals; make these normal, and expression can then be naturally improved. There will be no perversions, no artificialities, no affectation, but all will be normal, dignified, and strong.

To realize the general nature of delivery, take some short passage or fable and, after careful study, render it as naturally as in conversation, noting the while the fundamental actions of the mind in think- ing and the primary modulations of the voice.

Skies may be dark with storm While fierce the north wind blows, Yet earth at heart is warm And the snow drift hides the rose. CELIA THAXTER. A hungry Fox one day saw some fine grapes hanging high up from the ground. He made many attempts to reach them, but all in vain. Tired out with his failures, he walked off, grumbling to himself, “‘ Sour things, I am sure you ace not fit for a gentleman’s eating.”

UNPRINTED ELEMENTS OF EXPRESSION 17

Or give some poem as simply and adequately as pos- sible, endeavoring to think it and to express it in such a way as to make another realize its force. Then note that every modulation of the voice is directly associated with some primary action of the mind.

THE BROOKLET.

The brooklet came from the mountain, As sang the bard of old,

Running with feet of silver Over the sands of gold.

Far away in the briny ocean There rolled a turbulent wave,

Now singing along the sea-beach, Now howling along the cave.

And the brooklet has found the billow, Though they flowed so far apart, And has filled with its freshness and sweetness That turbulent, bitter heart. LONGFELLOW.

The student should first observe the general differ- ences. For example, in the preceding poem, Brook- let’? is made the center of the first stanza in the think- ing, and the voice gives this word a corresponding degree of importance. The thought of the second stanza is made to gather around wave,’ and peculiar changes in the voice show that the mind receives a different impression from that in the preceding. In the last stanza there is a still wider difference of feeling.

Tell a short story in your own words, or state a simple thought in a sentence and note the actions of both mind and voice necessary to make it clear and interesting to another.

EXPRESSION is the manifestation of mental activity; the outward sign of life and spirit.

DELIVERY is the expression of the human being through the human organism. It results from the

18 FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

right union of the modulations of the voice and actions of the body as natural signs of the speaker’s experience.

VERBAL EXPRESSION is the representation of ideas by conventional symbols or words.

VOCAL EXPRESSION is the manifestation of the pro- cesses of thought and feeling through modulation of the tone.

PANTOMIMIC EXPRESSION is the action of the body revealing activities of being.

A FUNDAMENTAL is a primary truth, action, or con- dition which lies at the basis of other elements.

AN ACCIDENTAL is a secondary fact, truth, condition, action, or modulation which is more external and conditioned.

MODULATIONS are expressive actions of the voice and always imply a spontaneous element.

MANIPULATIONS are volitional productions of any action of the voice or body. They are always mechan- ical and imply absence, or suppression, of the spon- taneous elements.

TRAINING is the process of making normal or perfect any organism by stimulating natural processes of growth and development. It is a conscious and deliber- ative stimulation of nature’s own processes.

A Stupy is an observation or experiment to find a fundamental action or condition.

A PROBLEM is a synthetic exercise or endeavor to Secure a condition or outward effect by stimulating the psychic cause.

A TECHNICAL EXERCISE is some fundamental action to be correctly practised in accordance with a principle.

Il. CONCENTRATION AND ITS EXPRESSION.

Since expression is an effect as natural as the bloom- ing of a rose and as spontaneous as the song of the bird, to improve it requires primarily the stimulation of its mental cause. Hence, it is necessary first to develop the actions of the mind which directly produce modula- tions of voice or their natural signs.

1. ELEMENTS OF THINKING. The principles regard- ing fundamentals apply not alone to voice modulations but to every phase of expression. Not only is thinking fundamental to expression, but thinking itself has cer- tain fundamental elements which must be carefully observed.

The primary elements of thinking are: first, concen- tration upon one point, and secondly, a leap of the mind to another.

Note for example, that after a walk down the street as you recall the persons you met or the objects that awakened attention, your mind concentrates attention upon one point after another. Or if you think over some walk you have taken along a country road your mind will concentrate upon a tree here and a rock there, upon a house on this side and a barn on that, upon some bridge or cluster of flowers, some distant view, upon whatever attracted observation. The mind in thinking leaps from one conception to another as the eye leaps from object to object.

We can dominate this process of thinking by holding or concentrating attention upon successive objects and

{oO

20 FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

by accentuating the progressive leap of the mind. In musing the mind drifts from point to point without active concentration.

It stays for an instant here and there, and obeying the first impulse or association drifts passively from idea to idea. But in genuine thinking the mind holds its attention longer upon each successive centre and deliberatively chooses another point, it may be from many possible ones, upon which next to concentrate itself.

Both the staying of the attention upon each idea and the leap from idea to idea may be increased. The mind can be made to dwell longer upon an object or idea and thus receive a deeper impression and cause discrimi- nation to be more decided and definite. This staying of the mind and the active concentration of the energies upon each successive idea is the first step necessary to improve expression.

That attention is of fundamental importance in expression can be easily realized. If we read the following poem in two ways: first, with little attention, allowing the mind to drift passively from idea to idea without receiving a vivid and definite impression, the expression will be superficial and tame. But if we definitely concentrate attention upon each successive idea and receive a decided impression, the whole rendering becomes animated, varied, and full of interest. The difference between the two renderings will be proportional to the degree of attention.

I hear the dashing of a thousand oars, The angry waters take a deeper dye;

A thousand echoes vibrate from the shores With Athens’ battle-cry ....

Victory, sitting on the Seven Hills,

Had gain’d the world when she had mastered thee; Thy bosom with the Roman war-note thrills,

Wave of the inland sea.

CONCENTRATION AND ITS EXPRESSION 21

Across the deep another music swells, On Adrian bays a later splendor smiles; Power hails the marble city where she dwells Queen of a hundred isles. ...

But the light fades; the vision wears away; I see the mist above the dreary waves; Blow, winds of Freedom, give another day Of glory to the brave. From * Mare Mediterraneum.”’ JOHN NICHOL.

MY REST.

Round yon snowy house green woods dream} ’Twixt the giant boughs moonbeams stream. Ah! fain I’d adore ev’ry tree;

Here dreamt I of yore happily.

All my many songs found I here,

"Mid thy branches heard, woodland dear!

In my tiny room, vine entwin’d,

Can I those sweet thoughts once more find ? Here the Rhine like to silv’ry band,

Like to sunbeam, flows o’er the land.

Wind, which ’mid green boughs o’er me blows, Once thy lullaby brought repose.

CARMEN SYLVA.

In reading silently we think rapidly. In reading aloud, if we read with any naturalness or earnestness, we think more slowly, and the mind is held longer upon successive points. In listless reading the mind rests here and there almost at random; but in earnest think- ing and expression the mind is held intensely concen- trated until a definite impression is made. There is a pause to receive the impression and a vigorous assertion in the following phrase.

We can hold out a lens and focus the rays of the sun, but we must necessarily steady the glass for an instant or there will be no flame. So to concentrate the mind and awaken an inner fire, we pause and focus mental energy, and the pause must be directly due to thought.

The most common fault in reading aloud is trying to think as we do in silent reading. The student should carefully study and master the difference.

22 FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

Read the following poem in silence simply to gather its general meaning; then endeavor to convey its ideas to another, and note that in reading aloud attention is staid longer, and more definitely focussed upon each successive idea.

THE HOUSE AND THE ROAD.

The little Road says Go, The little House says Stay 3 And 0, it’s bonny here at home, But I must go away.

The little Road, like me, Would seek and turn and know; And forth I must, to learn the things The little Road would show!

And go I must, my dears, And journey while I may,

Though heart be sore for the little House That had no word but Stay.

Maybe, no other way, Your child could ever know

Why a little House would have you Stay, When the little Road says, Go.

JOSEPHINE PRESTON PEABODY.

Render the following passage accentuating both the concentration and the progressive transition of 0 the mind in thinking and note the effect upon Expression.

THE BLACKBIRD.

The nightingale has a lyre of gold, The lark’s is a clarion call,

And the blackbird plays but a boxwood flute, But I love him best of all.

For his song is all of the joy of life, And we in the glad spring weather,

We two have listened till he sang And awoke our hearis together.

WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY.

CONCENTRATION AND ITS EXPRESSION 23

Attention lies at the basis of all power, and any real increase of mental energy depends upon its develop- ment. All education, all development of power to think, and all creative energy, in fact, depend upon the discipline of attention.

Render this poem many times, intensifying the mean- ing with each reading and note the differences 11 in the mental and vocal actions.

WHERE GO THE BOATS?

Dark brown is the river, golden is the sand.

It flows along forever, with trees on either hand.

Green leaves a-floating, castles of the foam,

Boats of mine a-boating, where will all come home ? On goes the river and out past the mill,

Away down the valley, away down the hill.

Away down the river, a hundred miles or more,

Other little children shall bring my boats ashore.

R. L. STEVENSON,

Give some fable, tell some story, or explain the thought of the following in your own words, 12 accentuating definitely each successive concen- tration of the mind.

THE PINE AND THE PALM.

In the far North stands a Pine-tree, lone, upon a wintry height; It sleeps: around it snows have thrown a covering of white.

lt dreams forever of a Palm that, far i’ the Morning-land, Stands silent in a most sad calm midst heaps of burning sand.

From Heine. LANIER.

AN ELEMENTARY ACTION of the Mind consists in con- centration upon one point and a progressive leap or transition to another.

CONCENTRATION is a voluntary staying of attention upon one point.

TRANSITION is a variation in thought, situation, or feeling, or a change in expression caused by such a mental change.

24 FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

2. PAUSE. The concentration of the mind and the . reception of an impression sufficiently definite to cause expression demand a period of silence. ‘‘ Silence is the father of speech.” In natural conversation, however quick, however animated or excited, innumerable pauses are necessary on account of the action of the mind. During a pause, however short, the mind lays hold of its idea and chooses the words. In all effective or natural reading and speaking silence precedes utterance.

The length of pause is due to the intensity of thinking or to the degree of clearness, vividness, and depth of the impression. In taking up a new subject, in weighing an idea before giving it, in the reception of all impres- sions, the length of pause will vary according to the degree of mental action, the extent of the change the mind is supposed to make, or the importance of the idea.

A period of silence, however, is not necessarily a pause. It may be hesitation. Hesitation is a stopping for lack of ideas or a word, and is due, not to the presence of thought, but to a mental blank. A speaker hesitates when he starts before he has fully grasped his idea and the words that express it. Since his impression does not precede and determine his expression he is compelled to stop for lack of thought. Failing to pause at the right time he is compelled to hesitate during the act of expression.

Hesitation is one of the worst faults that may occur in both reading and speaking. It not only reveals chaos in the thinking of the speaker, lack of definite precedent attention and impression before expression, but it prevents natural attention on the part of the hearer. The remedy for hesitation is genuineness of thinking, a right use of pauses, a strengthening of the power to stay the attention and wait for expression until a complete impression has been formed.

CONCENTRATION AND ITS EXPRESSION 25

Hesitation for a word may be turned into a genuine pause by staying and concentrating the mind before beginning the phrase.

Whenever attention is centred merely upon words or upon form, as is the case in proof-reading, the pauses are few, and the stops usually have little meaning. But if the passage is read with intensity of thought, if there is comprehension of its meaning rather than of its mere form, there will be long pauses and the consequent utterance seems to come out of the silence. There is a rhythmic alternation between silence and speech.

Read over some passage, keeping the attention upon the spelling, punctuation, type or form pronouncing the words; then give it with the centre of interest in 13 the meaning and with intense realization of the thought while the words or form are made subordinate. What is the chief difference?

I hide in the solar glory, I am dumb in the pealing song,

I rest on the pitch of the torrent, in slumber I am strong.

No numbers have counted my tallies, no tribes my house can fill,

I sit by the shining Fount of Life, and pour the deluge still; . . .

No ray is dimmed, no atom worn, my oldest force is good as new,

And the fresh rose on yonder thorn gives back the bending heavens in dew.

‘* Song of Nature.” EMERSON.

Pause is apt to be regarded as something so simple that it needs no attention; but rarely do readers or speakers realize the value of silence, and the fact that the power to stay attention until the mind has received a definite impression lies at the foundation of all natural modulation of the voice.

Study carefully some interesting passage, prolonging the pauses, not mechanically or artificially, but as the result of intense thinking and the reception of 14 impressions, and note that such prolonging of the attention makes the utterance of the following phrase vigorous and natural.

26 FOUNDATIONS OF EXPRESSION

At twilight on the open sea We passed, with breath of melody A song, to each familiar, sung In accents of an alien tongue. We could not see each other’s face, Nor through the growing darkness trace Our destinies; but brimming eyes Betrayed unworded sympathies. JOHN B. TABB. Speak not, I passionately entreat thee, till thy thought have silently matured itself . . . Out of Silence comes thy strength. ‘* Speech is silvern, Silence is golden; Speech is human, Silence is divine.” CARLYLE. L’? ENVOI.

When Earth’s last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried, When the oldest colors are faded, and the youngest critic has died, We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it lie down for an aeon or two, Till the Master of all Good Workmen shall set us to work anew!

And those that were good shall be happy3 they shall sit in the golden chair;

They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comet’s hair;

They shall find real saints to draw from -—— Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;

They shall work for an age at a sitting and never grow tired at all.

And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;

And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame;

But each forthe joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,

Shall draw the ‘Thing as he sees It, for the God of things as They Are!

Tell a story in your own words, pausing long and allowing the mind time to receive an impression of each event and to choose the words to represent it and justify the pause by the force of the following phrase. Do not hesitate, but definitely pause. Do not

KIPLING.

CONCENTRATION AND ITS EXPRESSION 27

start to express a phrase without first completely grasp- ing both ideas and words.

A PAUSE is a period of silence due to the presence of mental or emotional activity.

A Hesitation is a period of silence caused by lack of mental activity.

An Impression is the result of concentration, that is, conception and the feeling it awakens.

3- PHRASING. The concentration of the mind upon an idea or the reception of an impression during a pause causes the words which express it to be gathered into a single group and given