« PreviousContinue »
THE work now offered to the Public is an enlargement and improvement, by the addition of much original matter, of the Author's previous publication, entitled “A Plain System of Elocution,” which ran through two editions, but which is now so much improved upon as to induce the Author to change its name. The alterations and additions made to that System are the result of reflection, study, and of the experience gathered from an extensive practice as an instructor. The Author has great pleasure in acknowledging the valuable suggestions which he has received and adopted, from his father, JOHN VANDENHOFF, Esq., Professor of Elocution at the Royal Academy of Music in London. To Dr. Rush's Treatise on the Voice, the Author has had recourse for light on many of the niceties of the elementary sounds of our language; and gladly takes this opportunity of offering his humble tribute to the masterly analysis of the voice, its functions and capabilities, contain"ed in that philosophical and eloquent work.
He takes this occasion also to renew his acknowledg
ments to those families and heads of academies who have encouraged his attempt to awaken greater attention to this essential branch of education, and who do him the honor to approve of his system of instruction.*
The numerous classes of elegant and accomplished ladies who have read with him, in the houses of families of the highest standing and respectability, prove that a just appreciation is entertained of this art as an indispensable female acquirement: and the attention and improvement of his pupils have made his task one of pleasure and selfgratulation. The correct and elegant enunciation of her native tongue, and a graceful style of reading the language of its prose writers and poets, cannot be too assiduously cultivated by a lady: the accomplishment is peculiarly feminine, and its possession is a distinctive mark of high breeding and good education. If the Author's exertions shall be deemed to have facilitated its acquirement, he will be proud indeed.
* See Testimonials.
ART OF ELOCUTION.
The value of Elocution; particularly to the Orator-Elocution
a necessary part of Oratory-Sketch of an Orator—"Can Elocution be taught?”—Answer to the Right Reverend Dr. Whately's (Archbishop of Dublin) objections to a System of Elocution—the arguments in his Elements of Rhetoric combatted by his arguments in his Elements of Logic-Advice to the Student.
ELOCUTION, as its derivation (eloquor) indicates, is the art of speaking, or delivering language; and it embraces every principle and constituent of utterance, from the arti. culation of the simplest elementary sounds of language, up to the highest expression of which the human voice is capable in speech.
Of the importance, if not the necessity, of such an art to a perfect system of education, one would think there could not be two opinions. We must all speak; it must therefore be desirable to speak with propriety and force; as much so as regards the utterance of our language as its grammatical accuracy. And though any language, however meagre and