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I'll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool,
Peevish Impatience. HOTSPUR, (IRRITATED AGAINST HENRY IV.]-Shakspeare. “Why, look you, I am whipped and scourged with rods, Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear Of this vile politician Bolingbroke!”
" COMPOUND STRESS." This designation is applied to that form of “stress” which throws out the voice forcibly on the first and the last part of a sound, but slights, comparatively, the intermediate portion. It is, then, the application of a “radical” and a “vanishing” stress on the same sound, without an intervening “median."
It is the natural mode of “expression,” in the utterance of surprise, and sometimes, though less frequently, of other emotions, as contempt and mockery, sarcasm and raillery.
In the instinctive uses of the voice, this function seems specially designed to give point and pungency to the radical” and “vanish,' or opening and closing portions of sounds which occupy a large space of time, and traverse a wide interval of the “ scale."
The 7 explo sive” force at the commencement of such sounds, and the partial repetition of 66 explosive utterance at their termination, seems to mark distinctly to the ear the space which they occupy, and thus intimate their significant value in feeling. We see an analogous proceeding which addresses itself to the eye, when the workman, desirous of obtaining a perfectly exact measure, makes a deep indentation with the end of his rule, at each end of a given line, or distance, upon the object which he is measuring. Such indentations may illustrate the design or the effect, of the pungent points of sound, in compound stress :' they are distinct and impressive marks, and utter an important meaning:
The use of this form of " stress” belongs appropriately to feelings of peculiar force or acuteness. But on this very account, it becomes an indispensable means of natural expression and true effect, in many passages of reading and speaking. The difference between vivid and dull or flat utterance, will often turn on the exactness with which this expressive function of voice is exerted.
The careful and repeated practice of “ compound stress," on elements, syllables, and words, should accompany the repetition of the
following examples. To give these last, however, their true character and full effect, the imagination must be wholly given up to the supposed situation of the speaker; so as to receive a full sympathetic impression of the feeling to be uttered. Vivid emotion only, can prompt true expressive tone.
1. Extreme Surprise. QUEEN CONSTANCE, (WHEN CONFOUNDED WITH THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE
UNION OF LEWIS AND BLANCHE, AND THE CONSEQUENT INJURY TO HER SON, ARTHUR.] --Shakspeare. (“ Aspirated, guttural, and oral Quality :” “Impassioned” force.)
“Gone to be married! Gone to swear a peace! False blood to false blood joined! Gone to be friends! Shall Lewis have Blanche, and Blanche these provinces ? It is not so; thou hast misspoke, misheard, Be well advised, tell o'er thy tale again : It cannot be ;— thoù dost but say 't is so."
OCCUR IN THE WORDS WHICH
2. Surprise, Perplexity, and Contempt. [THE EXAMPLES OF “COMPOUND STRESS THE SERVANT REPEATS AFTER CORIOLANUS. HE HAS ENTERED, POORLY CLAD, AND UNRECOGNIZED, THE MANSION OF AUFIDIUS, AND IS ILL RECEIVED BY THE DOMESTICS, WHOM HE TREATS WITH HARSHNESS AND DISDAIN ) Shakspeare.
Servant. " Where dwellest thou ?
Serv. I' the city of kites and crows !-(What an ass it is!) - Then thou dwellest with daws too?
Cor. No: I serve not thy master.”
1 The disdainful and repulsive manner of Coriolanus, causes all his replies to become striking examples of the most abrupt "radical stress.” The short and snappish reply of petulance, always takes this form. It is not till provocation or irritation has stung its subject to the pitch of intolerable excitement, that utterance assumes the “vanishing stress.”
This species of “stress” is produced by a marked force of utterance, placed distinctively on each part of a sound to which the “radical,” “median,” and “vanishing” forms of stress, would apply separately. It exhibits all of these, in succession, on one and the same sound.
The “ thorough stress” is the natural mode of utterance in powerful emotion of that kind which seems as it were, to delight in full and swelling expression, and to dwell upon and amplify the sounds of the voice.
As far as vocal effect can be an exponent of feeling, this peculiarly characterized force, which omits no prominent portion of a sound, but pervades and obtrudes each one, would seem the appropriate language of all emotions which, in poetic phraseology, are said to “ fill the soul,” "" swell the bosom,”
;"*" fire the heart,”' or
delight and charm the fancy
“Thorough stress," is accordingly, the characteristic mode of " expression” in the utterance of rapture, joy, triumph, and exultation, lofty command, indignant emotion, disdain, excessive grief, or whatever high-wrought feeling seems for the time to wreak itself on expressive sound. It is obviously the language of extreme or impassioned feeling only. It abounds, accordingly, in lyric and dramatic poetry. It is found, however, in all vehement declamation in which the emotion is sustained by reflective sentiment, as in the excitement of virtuous indignation and high-souled contempt.
Thorough stress” is one of the most powerful weapons of oratory, as well as one of the most vivid effects of natural feeling. If indiscriminately used, it becomes ineffective, as savoring of the habit and mannerism of the individual, rather than of just and appropriate energy. In such circumstances, it becomes rant; and when joined, as it sometimes is, to the habit of “ mouthing,” it can excite nothing but disgust in a hearer of well-regulated taste.
Juvenile readers, however, in some instances, from diffidence, and students, from their enfeebling mode of life, are apt to fall far short of the requisite degree of this expressive function of the voice. To obtain the full command of it in all its applications, and to preserve it always from excess, much careful practice on appropriate examples, and on letters, syllables, and words, becomes indispensable, as å preparatory discipline in elocution.
EXAMPLES OF THOROUGH STRESS."
Rapture, Joy, Triumph, Exultation. (“ Expulsive orotund :'!.“ Impassioned ” force : Powerful “stress.”)
O Death! where is thy sting!”
(“Expulsive orotund :" Force of shouting : Vehement “ stress.”)
FROM MOORE'S LINES ON THE FATE OF NAPLES.
“Shout, Tyranny, shout Through your dungeons and palaces, · Freedom is o'er !)”
Lofty Command. (“ Expulsive orotund,” and “ sustained" force of calling, combined :
Powerful and prolonged “stress.”)
“ Princes! potentates !
Vehement Indignation. ("Expulsive orotund :" “ Declamatory” force: Vehement“ stress.")
FROM CHATHAM'S REBUKE OF LORD SUFFOLK. “ These abominable principles, and this more abominable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation. I call
upon that right reverend and this most learned Bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to defend and support the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn, upon the judges to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honor of your lordships, to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character."
SATAN, [TO ITHURIEL AND ZEPHON.]—Milton. (“ Expulsive orotund :"66 Impassioned” force : Powerful“ stress.")
“Know ye not then,” said Satan, filled with scorn, “ Know ye not me?— Ye knew me once no mate For
you; there sitting where ye durst not soar: Not to know me argues yourselves unknown,The lowest of your throng."
Violent Grief LADY CAPULET, [ON THE APPARENT DEATH OF JULIET.]—Shakspeare. (“ Aspirated pectoral and oral Quality :” “ Explosive" utterance :
“ Impassioned" force : Violent “stress.") “ Accurs’d, unhappy, wretched, hateful day! Most miserable hour that e'er time saw, In lasting labor of his pilgrimage!”
When, by the hysterical or excessive force of impassioned feeling, the breath is agitated into brief successive jets, instead of gushing forth in a continuous stream of unbroken sound, a tremor, or tremulous effect of voice, is produced, which breaks its “stress” into tittles or points ;-much in the same way that a row of dots may be substituted to the eye, for one continuous line. The human voice, in the case now in view, is as appropriately said to “tremble,” as when we apply the term to the shivering motion of the muscular frame.
The “ tremor" of the voice is the natural expression of all emotions which, from their peculiar nature, are attended with a weakened condition of the bodily organs; such as