1. Name two methods of destroying monotony and gaining force in speaking.
2. Why is a continual change of pitch necessary in speaking?
3. Notice your habitual tones in speaking. Are they too high to be pleasant?
4. Do we express the following thoughts and emotions in a low or a high pitch? Which may be expressed in either high or low pitch? Excitement. Victory. Defeat. Sorrow. Love. Earnestness. Fear.
5. How would you naturally vary the pitch in introducing an explanatory or parenthetical expression like the following:
He started—that is, he made preparations to start—on September third.
6. Speak the following lines with as marked variations in pitch as your interpretation of the sense may dictate. Try each line in two different ways. Which, in each instance, is the more effective—and why?
What have I to gain from you? Nothing.
To engage our nation in such a compact would be an infamy.
Note: In the foregoing sentence, experiment as to where the change in pitch would better be made.
Once the flowers distilled their fragrance here, but now see the devastations of war.
He had reckoned without one prime factor—his conscience.
7. Make a diagram of a conversation you have heard, showing where high and low pitches were used. Were these changes in pitch advisable? Why or why not?
8. Read the selections on pages 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38, paying careful attention to the changes in pitch. Reread, substituting low pitch for high, and vice versa.
Selections for Practise
Note: In the following selections, those passages that may best be delivered in a moderate pitch are printed in ordinary (roman) type. Those which may be rendered in a high pitch—do not make the mistake of raising the voice too high—are printed in italics. Those which might well be spoken in a low pitch are printed in CAPITALS.
These arrangements, however, are merely suggestive—we cannot make it strong enough that you must use your own judgment in interpreting a selection. Before doing so, however, it is well to practise these passages as they are marked.
Yes, all men labor. RUFUS CHOATE AND DANIEL WEBSTER labor, say the critics. But every man who reads of the labor question knows that it means the movement of the men that earn their living with their hands; THAT ARE EMPLOYED, AND PAID WAGES: are gathered under roofs of factories, sent out on farms, sent out on ships, gathered on the walls. In popular acceptation, the working class means the men that work with their hands, for wages, so many hours a day, employed by great capitalists; that work for everybody else. Why do we move for this class? "Why," asks a critic, "don't you move FOR ALL WORKINGMEN?" BECAUSE, WHILE DANIEL WEBSTER GETS FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR ARGUING THE MEXICAN CLAIMS, there is no need of anybody's moving for him. BECAUSE, WHILE RUFUS CHOATE GETS FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR MAKING ONE ARGUMENT TO A JURY, there is no need of moving for him, or for the men that work with their brains,—that do highly disciplined and skilled labor, invent, and write books. The reason why the Labor movement confines itself to a single class is because that class of work DOES NOT GET PAID, does not get protection. MENTAL LABOR is adequately paid, and MORE THAN ADEQUATELY protected. IT CAN SHIFT ITS CHANNELS; it can vary according to the supply and demand.
IF A MAN FAILS AS A MINISTER, why, he becomes a railway conductor. IF THAT DOESN'T SUIT HIM, he goes West, and becomes governor of a territory. AND IF HE FINDS HIMSELF INCAPABLE OF EITHER OF THESE POSITIONS, he comes home, and gets to be a city editor. He varies his occupation as he pleases, and doesn't need protection. BUT THE GREAT MASS, CHAINED TO A TRADE, DOOMED TO BE GROUND UP IN THE MILL OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND, THAT WORK SO MANY HOURS A DAY, AND MUST RUN IN THE GREAT RUTS OF BUSINESS,—they are the men whose inadequate protection, whose unfair share of the general product, claims a movement in their behalf.
KNOWING THE PRICE WE MUST PAY, THE SACRIFICE WE MUST MAKE, THE BURDENS WE MUST CARRY, THE ASSAULTS WE MUST ENDURE—KNOWING FULL WELL THE COST—yet we enlist, and we enlist for the war. FOR WE KNOW THE JUSTICE OF OUR CAUSE, and we know, too, its certain triumph.
NOT RELUCTANTLY THEN, but eagerly, not with faint hearts BUT STRONG, do we now advance upon the enemies of the people. FOR THE CALL THAT COMES TO US is the call that came to our fathers. As they responded so shall we.
"HE HATH SOUNDED FORTH A TRUMPET that shall never call retreat. HE IS SIFTING OUT THE HEARTS OF MEN before His judgment seat. OH, BE SWIFT OUR SOULS TO ANSWER HIM, BE JUBILANT OUR FEET, Our God is marching on."
—Albert J. Beveridge.
Remember that two sentences, or two parts of the same sentence, which contain changes of thought, cannot possibly be given effectively in the same key. Let us repeat, every big change of thought requires a big change of pitch. What the beginning student will think are big changes of pitch will be monotonously alike. Learn to speak some thoughts in a very high tone—others in a very, very low tone. DEVELOP RANGE. It is almost impossible to use too much of it.
HAPPY AM I THAT THIS MISSION HAS BROUGHT MY FEET AT LAST TO PRESS NEW ENGLAND'S HISTORIC SOIL and my eyes to the knowledge of her beauty and her thrift. Here within touch of Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill—WHERE WEBSTER THUNDERED and Longfellow sang, Emerson thought AND CHANNING PREACHED—HERE IN THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN LETTERS and almost of American liberty, I hasten to make the obeisance that every American owes New England when first he stands uncovered in her mighty presence. Strange apparition! This stern and unique figure—carved from the ocean and the wilderness—its majesty kindling and growing amid the storms of winter and of wars—until at last the gloom was broken, ITS BEAUTY DISCLOSED IN THE SUNSHINE, and the heroic workers rested at its base—while startled kings and emperors gazed and marveled that from the rude touch of this handful cast on a bleak and unknown shore should have come the embodied genius of human government AND THE PERFECTED MODEL OF HUMAN LIBERTY! God bless the memory of those immortal workers, and prosper the fortunes of their living sons—and perpetuate the inspiration of their handiwork....
Far to the South, Mr. President, separated from this section by a line—once defined in irrepressible difference, once traced in fratricidal blood, AND NOW, THANK GOD, BUT A VANISHING SHADOW—lies the fairest and richest domain of this earth. It is the home of a brave and hospitable people. THERE IS CENTERED ALL THAT CAN PLEASE OR PROSPER HUMANKIND. A PERFECT CLIMATE ABOVE a fertile soil yields to the husbandman every product of the temperate zone.
There, by night the cotton whitens beneath the stars, and by day THE WHEAT LOCKS THE SUNSHINE IN ITS BEARDED SHEAF. In the same field the clover steals the fragrance of the wind, and tobacco catches the quick aroma of the rains. THERE ARE MOUNTAINS STORED WITH EXHAUSTLESS TREASURES: forests—vast and primeval; and rivers that, tumbling or loitering, run wanton to the sea. Of the three essential items of all industries—cotton, iron and wood—that region has easy control. IN COTTON, a fixed monopoly—IN IRON, proven supremacy—IN TIMBER, the reserve supply of the Republic. From this assured and permanent advantage, against which artificial conditions cannot much longer prevail, has grown an amazing system of industries. Not maintained by human contrivance of tariff or capital, afar off from the fullest and cheapest source of supply, but resting in divine assurance, within touch of field and mine and forest—not set amid costly farms from which competition has driven the farmer in despair, but amid cheap and sunny lands, rich with agriculture, to which neither season nor soil has set a limit—this system of industries is mounting to a splendor that shall dazzle and illumine the world. THAT, SIR, is the picture and the promise of my home—A LAND BETTER AND FAIRER THAN I HAVE TOLD YOU, and yet but fit setting in its material excellence for the loyal and gentle quality of its citizenship.
This hour little needs the LOYALTY THAT IS LOYAL TO ONE SECTION and yet holds the other in enduring suspicion and estrangement. Give us the broad and perfect loyalty that loves and trusts GEORGIA alike with Massachusetts—that knows no SOUTH, no North, no EAST, no West, but endears with equal and patriotic love every foot of our soil, every State of our Union.
A MIGHTY DUTY, SIR, AND A MIGHTY INSPIRATION impels every one of us to-night to lose in patriotic consecration WHATEVER ESTRANGES, WHATEVER DIVIDES.
WE, SIR, are Americans—AND WE STAND FOR HUMAN LIBERTY! The uplifting force of the American idea is under every throne on earth. France, Brazil—THESE ARE OUR VICTORIES. To redeem the earth from kingcraft and oppression—THIS IS OUR MISSION! AND WE SHALL NOT FAIL. God has sown in our soil the seed of His millennial harvest, and He will not lay the sickle to the ripening crop until His full and perfect day has come. OUR HISTORY, SIR, has been a constant and expanding miracle, FROM PLYMOUTH ROCK AND JAMESTOWN, all the way—aye, even from the hour when from the voiceless and traceless ocean a new world rose to the sight of the inspired sailor. As we approach the fourth centennial of that stupendous day—when the old world will come to marvel and to learn amid our gathered treasures—let us resolve to crown the miracles of our past with the spectacle of a Republic, compact, united INDISSOLUBLE IN THE BONDS OF LOVE—loving from the Lakes to the Gulf—the wounds of war healed in every heart as on every hill, serene and resplendent AT THE SUMMIT OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT AND EARTHLY GLORY, blazing out the path and making clear the way up which all the nations of the earth, must come in God's appointed time!
—Henry W. Grady, The Race Problem.
... I WOULD CALL HIM NAPOLEON, but Napoleon made his way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of blood. This man never broke his word. "No Retaliation" was his great motto and the rule of his life; AND THE LAST WORDS UTTERED TO HIS SON IN FRANCE WERE THESE: "My boy, you will one day go back to Santo Domingo; forget that France murdered your father." I WOULD CALL HIM CROMWELL, but Cromwell was only a soldier, and the state he founded went down with him into his grave. I WOULD CALL HIM WASHINGTON, but the great Virginian held slaves. THIS MAN RISKED HIS EMPIRE rather than permit the slave-trade in the humblest village of his dominions.
YOU THINK ME A FANATIC TO-NIGHT, for you read history, not with your eyes, BUT WITH YOUR PREJUDICES. But fifty years hence, when Truth gets a hearing, the Muse of History will put PHOCION for the Greek, and BRUTUS for the Roman, HAMPDEN for England, LAFAYETTE for France, choose WASHINGTON as the bright, consummate flower of our EARLIER civilization, AND JOHN BROWN the ripe fruit of our NOONDAY, then, dipping her pen in the sunlight, will write in the clear blue, above them all, the name of THE SOLDIER, THE STATESMAN, THE MARTYR, TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.
—Wendell Phillips, Toussaint l'Ouverture.
Drill on the following selections for change of pitch: Beecher's "Abraham Lincoln," p. 76; Seward's "Irrepressible Conflict," p. 67; Everett's "History of Liberty," p. 78; Grady's "The Race Problem," p. 36; and Beveridge's "Pass Prosperity Around," p. 470.
EFFICIENCY THROUGH CHANGE OF PACE
Hear how he clears the points o' Faith
Wi' rattlin' an' thumpin'!
Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,
He's stampin' an' he's jumpin'.
—Robert Burns, Holy Fair.
The Latins have bequeathed to us a word that has no precise equivalent in our tongue, therefore we have accepted it, body unchanged—it is the word tempo, and means rate of movement, as measured by the time consumed in executing that movement.
Thus far its use has been largely limited to the vocal and musical arts, but it would not be surprising to hear tempo applied to more concrete matters, for it perfectly illustrates the real meaning of the word to say that an ox-cart moves in slow tempo, an express train in a fast tempo. Our guns that fire six hundred times a minute, shoot at a fast tempo; the old muzzle loader that required three minutes to load, shot at a slow tempo. Every musician understands this principle: it requires longer to sing a half note than it does an eighth note.
Now tempo is a tremendously important element in good platform work, for when a speaker delivers a whole address at very nearly the same rate of speed he is depriving himself of one of his chief means of emphasis and power. The baseball pitcher, the bowler in cricket, the tennis server, all know the value of change of pace—change of tempo—in delivering their ball, and so must the public speaker observe its power.
Change of Tempo Lends Naturalness to the Delivery
Naturalness, or at least seeming naturalness, as was explained in the chapter on "Monotony," is greatly to be desired, and a continual change of tempo will go a long way towards establishing it. Mr. Howard Lindsay, Stage Manager for Miss Margaret Anglin, recently said to the present writer that change of pace was one of the most effective tools of the actor. While it must be admitted that the stilted mouthings of many actors indicate cloudy mirrors, still the public speaker would do well to study the actor's use of tempo.
There is, however, a more fundamental and effective source at which to study naturalness—a trait which, once lost, is shy of recapture: that source is the common conversation of any well-bred circle. This is the standard we strive to reach on both stage and platform—with certain differences, of course, which will appear as we go on. If speaker and actor were to reproduce with absolute fidelity every variation of utterance—every whisper, grunt, pause, silence, and explosion—of conversation as we find it typically in everyday life, much of the interest would leave the public utterance. Naturalness in public address is something more than faithful reproduction of nature—it is the reproduction of those typical parts of nature's work which are truly representative of the whole.
The realistic story-writer understands this in writing dialogue, and we must take it into account in seeking for naturalness through change of tempo.
Suppose you speak the first of the following sentences in a slow tempo, the second quickly, observing how natural is the effect. Then speak both with the same rapidity and note the difference.
I can't recall what I did with my knife. Oh, now I remember I gave it to Mary.
We see here that a change of tempo often occurs in the same sentence—for tempo applies not only to single words, groups of words, and groups of sentences, but to the major parts of a public speech as well.
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. In the following, speak the words "long, long while" very slowly; the rest of the sentence is spoken in moderately rapid tempo.
When you and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh but the long, long while the world shall last,
Which of our coming and departure heeds,
As the seven seas should heed a pebble cast.
Note: In the following selections the passages that should be given a fast tempo are in italics; those that should be given in a slow tempo are in small capitals. Practise these selections, and then try others, changing from fast to slow tempo on different parts, carefully noting the effect.
2. No MIRABEAU, NAPOLEON, BURNS, CROMWELL, NO man ADEQUATE to DO ANYTHING but is first of all in RIGHT EARNEST about it—what I call A SINCERE man. I should say SINCERITY, a GREAT, DEEP, GENUINE SINCERITY, is the first CHARACTERISTIC of a man in any way HEROIC. Not the sincerity that CALLS itself sincere. Ah no. That is a very poor matter indeed—A SHALLOW, BRAGGART, CONSCIOUS sincerity, oftenest SELF-CONCEIT mainly. The GREAT MAN'S SINCERITY is of a kind he CANNOT SPEAK OF. Is NOT CONSCIOUS of.—THOMAS CARLYLE.
3. TRUE WORTH is in BEING—NOT SEEMING—in doing each day that goes by SOME LITTLE GOOD, not in DREAMING of GREAT THINGS to do by and by. For whatever men say in their BLINDNESS, and in spite of the FOLLIES of YOUTH, there is nothing so KINGLY asKINDNESS, and nothing so ROYAL as TRUTH.—Anonymous.
4. To get a natural effect, where would you use slow and where fast tempo in the following?
See him there, cold and gray,
Watch him as he tries to play;
No, he doesn't know the way—
He began to learn too late.
She's a grim old hag, is Fate,
For she let him have his pile,
Smiling to herself the while,
Knowing what the cost would be,
When he'd found the Golden Key.
Multimillionaire is he,
Many times more rich than we;
But at that I wouldn't trade
With the bargain that he made.
Came here many years ago,
Not a person did he know;
Had the money-hunger bad—
Mad for money, piggish mad;
Didn't let a joy divert him,
Didn't let a sorrow hurt him,
Let his friends and kin desert him,
While he planned and plugged and hurried
On his quest for gold and power.
Every single wakeful hour
With a money thought he'd dower;
All the while as he grew older,
And grew bolder, he grew colder.
And he thought that some day
He would take the time to play;
But, say—he was wrong.
Life's a song;
In the spring
Youth can sing and can fling;
But joys wing
When we're older,
Like birds when it's colder.
The roses were red as he went rushing by,
And glorious tapestries hung in the sky,
And the clover was waving
'Neath honey-bees' slaving;
A bird over there
Roundelayed a soft air;
But the man couldn't spare
Time for gathering flowers,
Or resting in bowers,
Or gazing at skies
That gladdened the eyes.
So he kept on and swept on
Through mean, sordid years.
Now he's up to his ears
In the choicest of stocks.
He owns endless blocks
Of houses and shops,
And the stream never stops
Pouring into his banks.
I suppose that he ranks
Pretty near to the top.
What I have wouldn't sop
His ambition one tittle;
And yet with my little
I don't care to trade
With the bargain he made.
Just watch him to-day—
See him trying to play.
He's come back for blue skies.
But they're in a new guise—
Winter's here, all is gray,
The birds are away,
The meadows are brown,
The leaves lie aground,
And the gay brook that wound
With a swirling and whirling
Of waters, is furling
Its bosom in ice.
And he hasn't the price,
With all of his gold,
To buy what he sold.
He knows now the cost
Of the spring-time he lost,
Of the flowers he tossed
From his way,
Any price if the day
Could be made not so gray.
He can't play.
—Herbert Kaufman. Used by permission of Everybody's Magazine.
Change of Tempo Prevents Monotony
The canary in the cage before the window is adding to the beauty and charm of his singing by a continual change of tempo. If King Solomon had been an orator he undoubtedly would have gathered wisdom from the song of the wild birds as well as from the bees. Imagine a song written with but quarter notes. Imagine an auto with only one speed.
1. Note the change of tempo indicated in the following, and how it gives a pleasing variety. Read it aloud. (Fast tempo is indicated by italics, slow by small capitals.)
And he thought that some day he would take the time to play; but, say—HE WAS WRONG. LIFE'S A SONG; in the SPRING YOUTH can SING and can FLING; BUT JOYS WING WHEN WE'RE OLDER, LIKE THE BIRDS when it's COLDER. The roses were red as he went rushing by, and glorious tapestries hung in the sky.
2. Turn to "Fools Gold," on Page 42, and deliver it in an unvaried tempo: note how monotonous is the result. This poem requires a great many changes of tempo, and is an excellent one for practise.
3. Use the changes of tempo indicated in the following, noting how they prevent monotony. Where no change of tempo is indicated, use a moderate speed. Too much of variety would really be a return to monotony.
"A MOB KILLS THE WRONG MAN" was flashed in a newspaper headline lately. The mob is an IRRESPONSIBLE, UNTHINKING MASS. It always destroys BUT NEVER CONSTRUCTS. It criticises BUT NEVER CREATES.
Utter a great truth AND THE MOB WILL HATE YOU. See how it condemned DANTE to EXILE. Encounter the dangers of the unknown world for its benefit, AND THE MOB WILL DECLARE YOU CRAZY. It ridiculedCOLUMBUS, and for discovering a new world GAVE HIM PRISON AND CHAINS.
Write a poem to thrill human hearts with pleasure, AND THE MOB WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO HUNGRY: THE BLIND HOMER BEGGED BREAD THROUGH THE STREETS. Invent a machine to save labor AND THE MOB WILL DECLARE YOU ITS ENEMY. Less than a hundred years ago a furious rabble smashed Thimonier's invention, the sewing machine.
BUILD A STEAMSHIP TO CARRY MERCHANDISE AND ACCELERATE TRAVEL and the mob will call you a fool. A MOB LINED THE SHORES OF THE HUDSON RIVER TO LAUGH AT THE MAIDEN ATTEMPT OF "FULTON'S FOLLY," as they called his little steamboat.
Emerson says: "A mob is a society of bodies voluntarily bereaving themselves of reason and traversing its work. The mob is man voluntarily descended to the nature of the beast. Its fit hour of activity is NIGHT. ITS ACTIONS ARE INSANE, like its whole constitution. It persecutes a principle—IT WOULD WHIP A RIGHT. It would tar and feather justice by inflicting fire and outrage upon the house and persons of those who have these."
The mob spirit stalks abroad in our land today. Every week gives a fresh victim to its malignant cry for blood. There were 48 persons killed by mobs in the United States in 1913; 64 in 1912, and 71 in 1911. Among the 48 last year were a woman and a child. Two victims were proven innocent after their death.
IN 399 B.C. A DEMAGOG APPEALED TO THE POPULAR MOB TO HAVE SOCRATES PUT TO DEATH and he was sentenced to the hemlock cup. FOURTEEN HUNDRED YEARS AFTERWARD AN ENTHUSIAST APPEALED TO THE POPULAR MOB and all Europe plunged into the Holy Land to kill and mangle the heathen. In the seventeenth century a demagog appealed to the ignorance of men AND TWENTY PEOPLE WERE EXECUTED AT SALEM, MASS., WITHIN SIX MONTHS FOR WITCHCRAFT. Two thousand years ago the mob yelled, "RELEASE UNTO US BARABBAS"—AND BARABBAS WAS A MURDERER!
—From an Editorial by D.C. in "Leslie's Weekly," by permission.
Present-day business is as unlike OLD-TIME BUSINESS as the OLD-TIME OX-CART is unlike the present-day locomotive. INVENTION has made the whole world over again. The railroad, telegraph, telephone have bound the people of MODERN NATIONS into FAMILIES. To do the business of these closely knit millions in every modern country GREAT BUSINESS CONCERNS CAME INTO BEING. What we call big business is the CHILD OF THE ECONOMIC PROGRESS OF MANKIND. So warfare to destroy big business is FOOLISH BECAUSE IT CAN NOT SUCCEED and wicked BECAUSE IT OUGHT NOT TO SUCCEED. Warfare to destroy big business does not hurt big business, which always comes out on top, SO MUCH AS IT HURTS ALL OTHER BUSINESS WHICH, IN SUCH A WARFARE, NEVER COME OUT ON TOP.—A.J. Beveridge.
Change of Tempo Produces Emphasis
Any big change of tempo is emphatic and will catch the attention. You may scarcely be conscious that a passenger train is moving when it is flying over the rails at ninety miles an hour, but if it slows down very suddenly to a ten-mile gait your attention will be drawn to it very decidedly. You may forget that you are listening to music as you dine, but let the orchestra either increase or diminish its tempo in a very marked degree and your attention will be arrested at once.
This same principle will procure emphasis in a speech. If you have a point that you want to bring home to your audience forcefully, make a sudden and great change of tempo, and they will be powerless to keep from paying attention to that point. Recently the present writer saw a play in which these lines were spoken:
"I don't want you to forget what I said. I want you to remember it the longest day you—I don't care if you've got six guns." The part up to the dash was delivered in a very slow tempo, the remainder was named out at lightning speed, as the character who was spoken to drew a revolver. The effect was so emphatic that the lines are remembered six months afterwards, while most of the play has faded from memory. The student who has powers of observation will see this principle applied by all our best actors in their efforts to get emphasis where emphasis is due. But remember that the emotion in the matter must warrant the intensity in the manner, or the effect will be ridiculous. Too many public speakers are impressive over nothing.
Thought rather than rules must govern you while practising change of pace. It is often a matter of no consequence which part of a sentence is spoken slowly and which is given in fast tempo. The main thing to be desired is the change itself. For example, in the selection, "The Mob," on page 46, note the last paragraph. Reverse the instructions given, delivering everything that is marked for slow tempo, quickly; and everything that is marked for quick tempo, slowly. You will note that the force or meaning of the passage has not been destroyed.
However, many passages cannot be changed to a slow tempo without destroying their force. Instances: The Patrick Henry speech on page 110, and the following passage from Whittier's "Barefoot Boy."
O for boyhood's time of June, crowding years in one brief moon, when all things I heard or saw, me, their master, waited for. I was rich in flowers and trees, humming-birds and honey-bees; for my sport the squirrel played; plied the snouted mole his spade; for my taste the blackberry cone purpled over hedge and stone; laughed the brook for my delight through the day and through the night, whispering at the garden wall, talked with me from fall to fall; mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond; mine the walnut slopes beyond; mine, an bending orchard trees, apples of Hesperides! Still, as my horizon grew, larger grew my riches, too; all the world I saw or knew seemed a complex Chinese toy, fashioned for a barefoot boy!—J.G. Whittier.
Be careful in regulating your tempo not to get your movement too fast. This is a common fault with amateur speakers. Mrs. Siddons rule was, "Take time." A hundred years ago there was used in medical circles a preparation known as "the shot gun remedy;" it was a mixture of about fifty different ingredients, and was given to the patient in the hope that at least one of them would prove efficacious! That seems a rather poor scheme for medical practice, but it is good to use "shot gun" tempo for most speeches, as it gives a variety. Tempo, like diet, is best when mixed.