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Oratory

ORATORY (Lat. oratoria, sc. ars; from orare, to speak or pray), the art of speaking eloquently or in accordance with the rules of rhetoric (q.v.). From Lat. orator ium, sc. templum, a place of prayer, comes the use of the word for a small chapel or place of prayer for the use of private individuals, generally attached to a mansion and sometimes to a church. The name is also given to small chapels built to commemorate some special deliverance.

The principal design of oratory is to convince or persuade. It contemplates the investigation of truth only as a secondary object. Assuming as its basis certain supposed or admitted principles or facts, its aim is, by presenting these in the form best adapted to win the assent of the understanding and impress the heart, to deter from or incline to a particular mode of resolution and action. This, the chief end of oratory, ought never to be left out of sight in any disquisition on that subject, inasmuch as upon it the general theory of the art is founded. At a very early period, as appears from the ' Iliad,' the oratorical art was held in high estimation among the Greeks. According to Quintilian however nearly the first person by whom it was properly cultivated was Empedocles, the date of whose birth is unknown; but his flourishing period was about 450 B.C. Corax and Tisias, the earliest writers on the art, were both natives of Sicily. (Quintil., Instit. Orut^ iii., c. 1.) Contemporary with them was Gorgias, also a native of Sicily, who was so distinguished for his eloquence that a golden statue was erected to him at Delphi. He, together with Protagoras of Abdera, Prodicus of Ceos, and Thrasymachus of Calchedon, are mentioned as the first who treated of common-places {communes loci). The most celebrated disciple of Gorgias was Isocrates, whom Cicero describes as the greatest master and teacher of the art The treatise of Aristotle on Rhetoric is the oldest extant treatise on the rhetorical art, and one of the most valuable books which has been preserved from antient timos. Demosthenes, who probably enjoyed the instruction both of Isocrates and of Isivus, by incessant application overcame the obstacles which ture had plated in the way of his becoming an orator, d attained a degree of excellence in his art which has immortalised his name. His opponent and nvtl jEschines, after his banishment, is said to have Uugh: rhetoric at Rhodes. We have no treatise on tbe -.-. by either of these great masters, but we posses*, » their extant orations, models which are more valuallthan any treatise could have been. Thcodectes and TV> phrastus, scholars of Aristotle, were both authors of rhetorr cal treatises (Fabric, Uibl. Gr., v. 2, p. 241); and after llwx the philosophers, particularly those of the Stoic and Penpatetic sects, bestowed much attention upon the rules o' oratory. A valuable extant treatise upon composition (n,; 'Ep/iijvii'ac) is ascribed to Demetrius Phalereus ; and !)•.nysius of Halicarnassus is the author of a treatise of R' toric, and of critical remarks on the Greek orators, which deserve a careful perusal. Besides those that have bat named, other Greek orators of later times are spoken . attracted by their eloquence that they determined tonu. mence the study of the art. It is stated by Seneca thv. Lucius Plotinus, a Gaul, was the first who taught orai.n at Rome. This profession was for awhile confined to freed men, but it was at length adopted by Bland us of \\; equestrian order. He was succeeded by others, of wbra some particulars have been recorded by Suetonius. Ttc following names of Roman rhetorical writers are given Ij Quintilian: Marcus Cato the censor, Antony tbe orator. Corniiicius, Stertinius, and Gallio; and in Quinliliao's oca age, Virginius, Pliny, and Rutilius. Cicero, vbottcov we have intentionally omitted in the above list, is i* was the most illustrious of the Roman orators, was also oat of the most copious and elegant of the antient writen o oratory. His treatises on this subject, which are numem* are respectively entitled: 'Of Invention;' 'Of Topo 'Of the Divisions of Oratory;' 'The Orator, or Bronu. 'Of Famous Orators ;' and 'Of the Orator.' The last-met tioned work is comprehended in three books, and is in t-r form of a dialogue. The chief speakers are L. Cristas u. M. Antonius; and into the mouth of the former Cicero pn his own opinions. The first book is general, relating t> th* difficulties of the art of oratory, and the branches of stu> with which the accomplished orator ought to beconvem" According to Crassus the qualifications of the orator st< be of the highest order. The object of his art ts to gut t speaking the greatest power of which it is susceptible, it! he ought to make himself familiar with all departinesb »' learning. Eloquence does not consist io tbe ob«rance of artificial rules; such rules are rather deduced free an examination of the qualities of eloquence. The pmrtice of reading, of delivery, and the improvement of ihea*mory, should be diligently attended to by tbe orator, wi above all, he must possess an intimate acquaintance *v> matters of law. These and other similar posit ions ate extroverted by Antonius, who maintains that an extensitraa.' minute knowledge of law is not indispensable, and tb»t --■ is an orator who can speak on civil and common afir. readily and persuasively. The second book treats of invention, of disposition, rmemory. The first is considered in a threefold prist 4 view, according as it is the design of the speaker to uostrrr*. to persuade, or to delight. Under disposition the ram parts of an oration are discussed, viz. the exordium, nant tion, division, confirmation, refutation, and conclusion Tw three kinds of orations, the deliberative, the judicial. «the demonstrative, are also considered, and the book excludes with observations concerning an artificial menniri In the third book the subject of elocution is tsiksa tithe characters of words, the structure and eml>rllt*fcs*s* of sentences, and other circumstances connected srtis kcguage and style, are commented on at considerable hs>r> A discussion on action terminates the whole work. Quintilian, who was himself a rhetorician of high •*¥** tion, wrote after Cicero. He had consequently tbeartage of the writings of tbe latter, and Ins 'In'strtnticc* . Oratory,' in twelve books, are generally regarded as the most complete work on the subject. Certain orations or declamations ascribed to him are still in existence; but as they little accord with his own rules, their genuineness is not universally admitted. [qcintilian-] • It may be observed that the reign of eloquence in Greece was of much longer duration than in Rome. Among the Greeks it took its rise with republican institutions, and continued to flourish down to the time of Alexander the Great, a period of 150 years; in the latter, it began and ended with the age of Cicero. The difference has been ascribed to the more free and "popular forms of government that obtained in many Grecian states, and this idea seems to receive countenance from the fact that eloquence and the liberties of Greece were coeval: the one ceased when the other was destroyed. The age of rhetoricians succeeded among the Greeks to that of the orators; and though oratory such as that of Demosthenes and ./Eschines was no longer permitted by circumstances, yet the teachers of rhe»ni-if among the Greeks cultivated the art as a discipline and also employed it as a kind of theatrical exhibition. Among this class of orators we may enumerate Aristides and others. 1.ARISTIDES.] It was the Archbishop of Cambray's opinion that the proper method of forming a system of oratory is to collect it from tho best precepts of Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, and Longinus. The opinion has been repeated and acted upon by Ward, in one of the few systems which this country has j> rod need. The elements of oratory are usually comprehended under the four following divisions: invention,disposition, expression or language, and delivery. The first has respect to the character of the thoughts, the second to the manner of their arrangement, and the third and fourth to words, sentences, style, utterance, &c. Besides the common observations that may be made on any subject, there are peculiar ideas appropriate to the exposition and illustration of each peculiar subject, and among these some which are more appropriate for this purpose than others. These it is the business of the orator to discover, and the discovery of them is termed invention. Where argument is requisite, those arguments which are most powerful ought to be adduced; where objections are apprehended, they must be refuted; and where declamation is resorted to, the incentives best adapted to excite the passions and engage them in behalf of the cause which the speaker advocates must be brought forward. The Greek rlictoricians specified under invention a great variety of particulars intended to assist the orator, whatever might be the matter on which he was required to employ his eloquence: these they called topics (rojrwi, the loci of Cicero, Topic, c. 2), and divided them into internal topics, or commonplaces, and external topics, or testimonies. Internal topics are such as arise out of the subject itself. As given by Cicero and Quintilian, they amount to sixteen in number. These are—definition, enumeration, notation, genus, species, antecedents, consequents, adjuncts, conjugates, cause, effect, contraries, opposites, similitude, dissimilitude, comparison. The first three comprehend the whole thing to which they have reference: definition explains the nature of a thing; enumeration takes in all its parts; and notation gives the signification of words. Of the remaining thirteen, some contain part of the thing spoken of, and the others its various properties, circumstances, &c. Genus comprehends several species of things of different kinds. Species, all individuals of the same kind. Antecedents are such things as, being admitted, imply the necessary or probable existence of others. Adjuncts are adventitious qualities of things and circumstances not necessarily connected with them. Conjugates are words having the same origin with one another, as utile?, wisely, tcisdom. A cause is that by which anything exists; and an effect, that which proceeds from a cause. Contraries are things which, included in one genus, are the farthest removed from each other, so that what is affirmed of the one is denied of the other. Opposites ore things which, though repugnant, are not directly contrary. Similitude and dissimilitude are the agreement or disagreement of things in quality. Comparison traces contrarieties or resemblances in other particulars, as when a thing is compared with its greater or its equal or its less. External topics, or testimonies, are such as do not arise from the subject itself, but are furnished ficm without: they ore either divine or human. The first, where clearly ascertained, are sufficient of themselves to determine any question; the last are reduced to three, writings, witnesses, and contracts. The antient rhetoricians "paid great attention to what were termed the states of a controversy, or the principal points in dispute. These are all comprehended by Cicero in the inquiries, whether a thing is, what it is, and how it is. In addition to the general sources of argument furnished by the topics, others more particular were specified, suited respectively to demonstrative, deliberative, and judicial discourses. . When the materials of which an ovation is to consist have been procured, it next remains to arrange them in a proper form. The thoughts may be excellent in themselves and in relation to their object, yet if they be produced in a confused and disorderly shape, their application perhaps will not be readily apparent, and certainly they will be deprived of much of their force. Henco the second element of oratory, disposition, which concerns the right distribution of the ideas. It is necessary that they should succeed each other, if not by a natural connection, at least by an easy sequence, and that the orator should proceed from what is of less to what is of greater importance. Everything inconsequential ought to be avoided, and care must be taken lest the intro'duclion of what is of little moment to the attainment of the purpose in view should obliterate or obscure the recollection of graver and more important considerations previously advanced. Rhetoricians differ in their statement of the several parts of which an oration consists. In Cicero's work concerning the orator they are mentioned as five—the exordium, narration, division, confirmation, refutation, and conclusion: to these may be added, if necessary, digression, transition, amplification. It is not of consequence however that these divisions should in every case be minutely observed. The orator may on certain occasions, to be determined by his own judgment, break forth without prefatory remark in the middle of his subject. Cicero's often cited oration against Catiline may be mentioned as an instance of this, in which he commences at once with an energy and vehemence that would, under other circumstances, have been reserved for a more advanced stage of his harangue. Another object to be attended to by the orator is the language and style of his oration. This falls under the head of expression. This department of oratory comprehends elegance, composition, dignity. Elegance consists in perspicuity and purity. Low, obsolete, and foreign terms are to be avoided, as having a disagreeable effect upon the hearer, and being in so far opposed to the object for which oratory is employed. Clearness, on the contrary, must be constantly aimed at, inasmuch as without it the speaker will only be partially understood, and consequently cannot hope to produce the full effect to which he may aspire Composition supplies rules for the formation of sentences with the various members, words, and syllables of which they are made up. It is divided into period, order, juncture, and number. The first treats of the structure of sentences; the second, of parts of sentences, namely, words and members; and the last two, of parts of words, or syllables and letter*. Dignity consists in the proper use of tropes and figures. Style is distinguished into the plain or familiar, the middle or elegant, and the sublime. The characteristics of each are sufficiently indicated in the terras by which they are designated. All of them may with propriety find a place in the same oration; none of them can perhaps be long employed effectually without being relieved by an interchange with the others. The familiar, however entertaining for awhile, is apt to appear vapid at last; the elegant becomes insipid; and the sublime calls for an effort on the part of the listener that can only be sustained for a short time. In lengthened harangues therefore variety is requisite, if the attention and interest of the hearers are to be secured. In the choice of his style the orator must be chiefly determined by the nature of the subject and the character of the audience. On a common and familiar subject, to use lofty and figurative language would be ridiculous, as to use mean and insignificant expressions on a subject in itself noble and elevated would be offensive. In like manner, to address in the same strain a plain and unlettered audience, and a learned and dignified assembly, would be impertinent and absurd. Delivery includes everything connected with the utterance of speech, the modulation of the voice, gesture, &c. The division of oratory by the antient rhetoricians into the demonstrative or laudatory, the deliberative, and the judicial, has been adverted to. The classification is judicious, and comprehends the several kinds of public speaking still in use. These may be conveniently arranged in the following order: the oratory of the Senate, of the Bar, of the Pulpit, and of the Mob. The oratory of the Stage occupies a place by itself: it is not contemplated in any of the remarks that have yet been made, and requires separate consideration. The oratory of the senate, or popular oratory, as it is sometimes termed, has respect generally to the welfare and honour of states, which involve an immense number of topics differing in nature and importance. Accordingly this branch of oratory admits of a corresponding variety of style and character. It may be deliberative, or controversial, or declamatory, according to the subject about which it is occupied, or the end to be accomplished. There is perhaps no department of rhetorical excellence which it does not include, and nowhere therefore will the orator find a wider field for the exercise of his powers. It is supposed that in this case he addresses a well-instructed audience; and this circumstance must be allowed to have its due influence in the construction of his oration. He ought, it has been said, to unite the dignity of the statesman with the propriety of the scholar. It may be questioned whether, in this country at least, Demosthenes's tbrice-inculcated quality of action is deemed a very essential element of good oratory. It is for the most part but sparingly resorted to, and its employment to the extent that would seem to be implied in the earnestness with which it was enjoined by the Grecian orator, would be considered a better qualification for the orator of the mob than the orator of the senate. The oratory of the bar is the same as the judicial oratory of the antients. It supposes two parties, plaintiff and defendant. The matters about which it is conversant are the rights of property and the lives and characters of individuals. The object of the orator is to secure success to the party whose interests he advocates, by proving, to the satisfaction of those by whom the cause is to be decided, the justice of his claims or the innocence of his conduct. His oration therefore must be in a great measure strictly argumentative, and constructed with the design of producing conviction. The nature of such an oration may be illustrated by reference to the arguments laid down by the antient rhetoricians as appropriate to judicial discourses in criminal cases. First, there occurs the conjectural state of the question, in which it is inquired whether the party accused would, could, or did do what is laid to his charge; and next the definitive, where the proper name to be assigned to the fact is discussed; further, admitting the truth of the accusation, the criminality of the action may be disputed; and lastly, even granting this, the accused may be defended, and the offence palliated, by pleading the absence of wilful design or bad intention. The province of the oratory of the bar is manifestly more circumscribed than that of the senate. The forensic eloquence of the Greeks and Romans, and particularly the former, differed considerably from what such eloquence must now be, and hove a closer resemblance to the senatorial. Among the Athenians at least the orator was not so much fettered by the provisions of a complex and intricate system of law, or by the existence of innumerable precedents. Besides, the judges in criminal causes were always far more numerous, so that the orator, instead of addressing himself to a few persons, in reality spoke to a small assembly. Even yet however, in all cases which involve great principles, or which possess intrinsic elements of interest, as well as in reply, the forensic orator has full opportunity for the display of the highest rhetorical ingenuity and skill. It may also be observed, that as all courts of justice are open to the public in this country, and as important case* always attract a large audience, the speaker though in form only addressing a few persons, and sometimes even a single person, with wnom the decision rests, is nevertheless actually addressing a large body. This was also the case at Rome, where the judices were frequently few in number, but the bystanders were many. Some of the public orations of Demosthenes and Cicero oble specimens of antient eloquence, senatorial and ic. The eloquence of antiquity indeed generally is a more elevated place than that which can be claimed for modern eloquence. The one is the result of profound and incessant study; the other too frequently lU result of hasty and extemporaneous effort. The influence which the great orators of Greece and Rome were enabled to exercise, in the popular assemblies. in the senate, and injudicial cases, gave to oratory a high itgree of importance as a brancli of liberal education; aid ucordingly those who aspired to political distinction, either u Athens or Rome, qualified themselves to appear a* pukLspeakers by the most assiduous industry, and by folloauf the instruction of the best masters of their art. The painful labour by which Demosthenes overcame the impediment) which nature seemed to have put in the way of hi* beeumuu an orator, and the unwearied diligence of Cicero (Brutut, c. 90, &c), are well known. But in modern times little i* no attention has been bestowed on oratory as a separate branch of study, and eloquence has come to be rooreaumired as one of the rare gifts of nature than sought after is one of the fruits of art. This seems the principal reason a Lt the orations transmitted to us from antiquity have bars so rarely approached, and still more rarely equalled, ens by the most distinguished modern speakers, and even iu those states whose constitutional forms permit and invite the otercise of oratorical power. The diffusion of opinions and arguments by means of Um press has perhaps contributed in some degree to the present neglect of oratory; for a speaker is mainly known la Ik* public through the press, and it is often more important iu him to be read than to be heard. Still the power of oratory, in all modern constitutions inu> which the democratic element enters, is considerable enough to induce any person who has the requisite gifts of natnrt to cultivate oratory as an art; and it is rather singular that those who aspire to political distinction in stales which hart such constitutions, do not prepare themselves for their career by a special study. One reason may be that rhetors. along with many other antient studies, has been banisiu i from our course of instruction, so that even he who has tht desire cannot find the opportunity of perfecting himsc.f under a master. He therefore attains such excellemc it he may, solely by practice in those places which andcr another system he would not have approached without dus preparation. The great Roman orator, though disciplines for his profession by assiduous study, left Rome after be !ia>i been practising for two years at the bar, and had aire*!? begun to be known, for the purpose of improving himsaf under the best Grecian masters. Pulpit oratory was unknown to the antients, being tit growth of later times. It has for its chief aim to imprc* men with their duty as moral and religious beings; to drt-r from vice and excite to the pursuit of virtue; toenrour^c to elevate, and to awe, by the prospects of immortality. Ai the topics with which it is conversant are of Uaii*«enSphere. It admits of ncii'j every diversity of oratorical excellence; but the chief qurlities which ought to be exhibited by the preacher are «itcerity, solemnity, and fervour, combined with moral dignit; That so few should have excelled in this department rcqu&.-a. and also an accurate knowledge of their workings and developments in individual character. Success must be measured by the closeness of the resemblance. We now proceed to speak more particularly of that part of oratory whioh relates to delivery or, as we shall here term it, Elocution. Elocution is that pronunciation which is given to words when they are arranged into sentences and form discourse. It includes the tones of voice, the utterance, and enunciation of the speaker, with the proper accompaniments of countenance and gesture. The art of elocution therefore may be defined to be that system of rules which teaches us to pronounce written or extemporaneous composition with justness, energy, variety, and ease; and agreeably to this definition, good reading or speaking may be considered as that species of delivery which not only expresses the sense of the words so as to be barely understood, but at the same time gives them all the force, beauty, and variety of which they are susceptible The Greeks and Romans paid great attention to the study of elocution, and there can be no doubt that their most celebrated orators attained to a high degree of excellence in this branch of their art; but they have left nothing on record which shows that they had made a in mute analysis of the speaking voice. They did indeed distinguish its different qualities by such terms as hard, smooth, sharp, clear, hoarse, full, slender, flowing, flexible, shrill, and rigid. They were sensible to the alternations of heavy and light in syllabic utterance: they knew the time of tho voice, and regarded its quantities in pronunciation: they gave to loud and soft appropriate places in speech: they perceived the existence of pitch, or variation of high and low; and noted further that the rise and fall in the pronunciation of individual syllables are made by a enncrete or continuous slide of the voice, as distinguished from the discrete notes produced on musical instruments. They designated the pitch of vocal sounds by the term accent, making three kinds of accents, the acute, the grave, and the circumllex, which signified severally the rise, the fail, and the turn of the voice, or union of acute and grave mi the same syllable. But beyond this they did not go, and i t was left to modern inquirers to give that clear and full description of the elements of speech, on which alone any delimit) instruction can be founded. For the advance v»hich has been made in elocutionary science in modern times we are indebted to the useful labours of Steele, Odell, Walker, Thelwall, Chapman, Smart, and Rush, es|>ccially to the last, who has done much to perfect what \«as begun by others, and whose 'Philosophy of the Human Voice'* contains a more minute and satisfactory analysis of the subject than is to be found in any other work. From his book chiefly we shall borrow the subswtance of this article. When the letter a, as heard in the word day, is pronounced simply as an alphabetic element, without intensencss or emotion, and as if it were a continuation and not a close of utterance, two sounds are heard continuously suc-cseivo: the first has the nominal sound of this letter, and issues from the organs with a certain degree of fulness; the last is the element e, as heard in eve, which gradually diminishes until its close. During the pronunciation, the 'voice rises, by the concrete or continuous movement, through the interval of a tone, the beginning of the a and the termination of thee being severally the inferior and superior extremes of that tone. This sound commences full and somewhat abruptly, and gradually decreases in its upward movement, till it finally dies away in the upper extreme of the tone, having the increments of time and rise, and the decrement of fullness, equally progressive. The first portion x lierefore, or base of this sound, is called the radical movement, and the second portion the vanishing movement. "I'bis sound is called a concrete, or slide, to distinguish it from musical sounds, which (in their pure character) cont inue for a given space of lime on a certain point of the scale, and then leap, as it were (discretely), to another point either higher or lower. These slides may extend through the space of a tone, or they may be carried up to any point • Second edition, 8vo. Philadelphia. 1833- A copy of this will be unmd f *i tin" library of the lliit'wh Museum, where Ihe itudt'ul may aUo consult Mr. Si-teele's ' Essay towards eMnhlishin;,' the Melody and Measure of Sprech. lo be ^ xprrs*ed and perpelnalcd bv peculiar symbols' Loudon, \"J"ib. Tlie second «—.tllton was pub.Uhed iu 177'-*. uilh I'io 'title of ' 1'iosodia KaUonnlb*.' Mr. <_>teH's work is entitled 'An E*«ii> ..n the Element*, Accents, and 1'rosody of c,£us English Language,' K'mo., London, 1805. on the scale to which the voice can attain, those intervals which are the most distinctly recognisable by the ear and the most easy of execution being the tone (or second), the third, the fifth, and the octave. The direction also which they take may be either upwards or downwards, the full opening radical however always occupying the first place, and the vanish the second. It also frequently happens that there is a union of the upward and downward, or of the downward and upward movement, on the same syllable: these are called leaves or circumflexes; they may rise and fall through the extent of a tone, or of a third, or of any wider interval of the scale; they are then called direct waves: or they may fall and rise through the same extent of pitch, being then called indirect waves; they may be equal, having their constituent rise and fall through the same extent of pitch; or they may be unequal, having either the ascent or the descent longer than the other part. The succession of the seven sounds of any one series, to which the octave is usually added, is called the Natural or Diatonic Scale. In speech, as in music, it consists of five tones and two semitones, the latter being the spaces between its third and fourth and its seventh and eighth degrees. But a progression may also be formed by semitones; these have only half the extent of pitch which the full tones have: like them, they may be carried upwards or downwards, and they often occur in the form of waves. They serve for the expression of animal distress. But the succession of discrete sounds may ho exhibited under still more minute divisions. These consist of a transition from place to place in pitch, over intervals much smaller than a semitone, each point being, as it were, rapidly touched by a short and abrupt emission of voice. This description may be illustrated by that noise in the throat which is called gurgling, and by the neighing of a horse. The analogy here regards principally the momentary duration, frequency, and abruptness of sound, for the gurgling is generally made by a quick iteration in one unvarying lino of pitch, whereas in the scale now under consideration each successive pulse of sound is taken at a minute interval above the last, till the series reaches the octave. The precise extent of these small intervals it is very difficult to estimate. They may however be carried concretely through the wider intervals of the scale, provided they do not lose their distinctive character of momentary time and abruptness of utterance. These concretes are used both in laughter and in crying. In the descending scale, the direction not only of the radicals but of the vanishes is downwards. Intonation is the act of performing the movements of pitch through the several scales. There are then four scales of pitch for the speaking voice:— 1. The Concrete, in which from the outset to the termination of the voice there is no appreciable interval, or interruption of continuity. 2. The Diatonic, the transitions of which are principally by whole tones. 3. The Se>nitonic, or Chromatic, consisting of an entire succession of semitones. 4. The Tremulous, consisting of minute intervals smaller than the semitone. The alphabet is, in our grammars, usually divided into vowels, consonants, mutes, and semivowels; but it will bo more useful to class the elements according to their use in intonation. As the number of these elementary sounds in the English language exceeds the literal signs, and some of the letters are made to represent various sounds without any rule of discrimination, it is necessary to use short wuids of known pronunciation, containing the elementary sounds, with the letters which represent them marked in italics. The elements of articulation are thirty-five, and tbey may be ar ranged under three general heads. I. The first division embraces those sounds which display the properties of the radical and vanish in the most perfect manner. They are twelve in number, and are heard in the usual sound of the separated italics in the following words:— o-ll, a-rt, an, a-le, o-ur, i-sle, o-ld, ee-1, o«-ze, «-rr,* e-nd, i-n.t From their forming the purest and most plastic material of intonation, these are called Tonic sounds. They have a more musical quality than the other elements; they are capable of indefinite prolongation; admit of the concrete and tremulous rise and fall through all the intervals of pitch, and may be uttered more forcibly than the other elementary sounds, as well as with more abruptness. II. The next division includes a number of sounds possessing variously among themselves properties analogous to those of the tonics, but differing in degree. They amount to fourteen, and are marked by the separated italics in the following words:—fl-ow, dare, g-ive, v-i\e, 2-one, y-e, w-o, Men, a-a-ure, zi-ng, /-ove, m-ay, n-ot, r-oe. From their inferiority to the tonics in all the emphatic and elegant purposes of speech, whilst they admit in some measure of being intonated, or carried concretely through the intervals of pitch, they are called subtonic sounds. III. The remaining nine elements are aspirations, and have not that sort of sound which is called vocality. They are produced by a current of the whispering breath through certain positions of the enunciative organs. They are heard in the words—U-p, ou-r, ax-k, \-f, ye-#, A-e, tcA-eat, fA-in, push. As they admit of little or no pitch, and supply no part of the concrete when breathed among the constituents of syllables, they are termed the Atonic sounds. The name of Abrupt sounds is also given to three of the subtonics and three of the atonies, namely b, d,g,p, t, k, since they confer an explosive character on the following tonic, the breath bursting out after a complete occlusion.:): In conformity to the above division of the letters, and with especial reference to the time which is occupied in pronunciation, syllables are divided into three classes—1st, Immutable, such as at, op, ek, hap-\es», pit-ia\\, ac-ce/>-tance; 2nd, Mutable, as yet, what, grat-iUi&e, des-rr«c-tion; 3rd, Indefinite, as go, thee, for, day, man, till, de-lay, he-guile, cx-treme, er-roneous. It is the peculiar nature of this last class of syllables, that to whatever necessary degree their quantity is prolonged, their character is still preserved, while the mutable and the immutable in some cases almost lose their identity by too great an addition to their time. The use of these distinctions will appear in the sequel. Thus much having been premised, it will be the more easy to understand the general divisions of vocal sound. All the varieties of sound in the human voice maybe referred to the following general heads :— Quality, Force, Time, and Pitch § I. The terms by which the Quality or kind of voice is distinguished are rough, smooth, harsh, full, thin, slender, soft, musical, and some others of the same metaphorical structure. There are three different sorts of voice, the natural, the falsette, and the orotund, to which must be added the whisper, which, strictly speaking, is not twice. The natural is that which we employ in ordinary speaking. It includes a range of pilch from the lowest utterable sound up to that point at which the voice is said to break. At this point the natural voice ceases, and the higher parts of the scale are made by a shriller kind, called the falsette, of which the cry, the scream, the yell, and all shrillness are various modes. The name of orotund (from os rotundum) is given to that natural or improved manner of uttering the elements, which exhibits them with a fulness, clearness, strength, smoothness, and a ringing or musical quality rarely heard in ordinary speech, and which is never found in its highest excel • Tim writer of this article has personal' opportunity of knowing that by this word Dr. Rush meant to designate that sound which Mr. Cull represents by Her. t I r Hi or oy, as in voice and boy, be added as perhaps they ought, the number of the tonics will be thirteen. this difficult to decide on the analysis of the elemeutary sounds represented by the alphabet. That of Dr. Rush is given in the text The following has been furnished to the writer of this article by Mr. Cull, and, although not free from objections, is mure complete. I. Vowils, us heard in Hie following syllables:—all, arm, an, ale, end, eel, her, isle, to. eld. oexe. on, us, cane, pall, oar, oil. It. Oohsokants. 1. I'uice Cunto*anti:~6e, rfo, go,to, ate,ao, roe, eat, see, I aooe. siao, ajure. (Aen.j'ew. 2. Voicettit Coaioaaati.—op, at, ar*. i/, Aope, ■*.., sin, rh in, Ma, Win. x'/ien. In all forty-three elements. To these Dr. Rush adds a flfth, namely, Abruptntu ; but this appears to eeoWebU.' into force and lime. lence except as the effect of long and careful cnltmur This voice is highly agreeable to the ear; it it possessed :< actors of eminence, and is peculiarly adapted to set forth ir beauties of epic and tragic composition. The whisper a tie constituent of the atonic elements; but all the tonics, ud the greater part of the subtonics, may likewise be uttered a this mode of sound. The subtonics v, z, w, lA-en, zh, whra whispered, are not respectively different from the aUjruci / s, wh, th-in, sh. II. For the specifications of Force we use the worth strong, weak, feeble, loud, soft, forcible, and faint. TKeec are indefinite in their indication, and without any fixed relationship in degree. III. Time, in the art of speaking, is divided into loro; short, quick, slow, and rapid. These distinctions tat. suffice for the common purposes of discourse; if roortn; cision is required, a notation will be found in Mr. Sleeio Prosodia Rationalis. The distinction of immutable, nit.. table, and indefinite syllables has reference to tune, ml has been already treated of. IV. The meaning of the term Pitch, as applied to speeds, has been already explained. We come now to the application of these elements mi distinctions to the practical purposes of reading and speech In plain narrative or description, the concrete ullennct of each syllable is made through the interval of a tone, twi the successive concretes have a slight difference of pitch rt latively to each other. The appropriation of these concrtir, to syllables, and the manner in which the succession of thnr pitch is varied, are exemplified in the following notation — If these lines and the enclosed spaces be supposed, e ■■ in proximate order, to denote the difference of a tone n pitch, the successions of the radical points, with thrr issuing vanish, will show the places of the syllables of tt« superscribed sentence in easy and unimpassioned utterai -. though it is not denied that a somewhat different a.rra.1;ment might also bo agreeable. The perception of the successions here exemplified is called (in a restricted meson: of the term) the melody of speech. In simple phraseology, which conveys but little feeling ■ emphatic sentiment, most of the syllables, except one at two of the last in the sentence, consist of the upward ra&a. and vanishing tone. The succession of these concrete lo&o is made with a variation of pitch, in which any two prat mate concretes never differ from each other more than l* interval of a tone, nor do there occur more than three is* cessive tones in one direction either upwards or downwank This is called the diatonic melody. The rise of each srj«rate syllable is called the concrete pitch of melody, and tt< place which each syllable assumes above or below the preceding, the radical pitch. The current melody of senten^in plain discourse admits of considerable variety, bat u* forms of radical pitch are all reducible to a limited numbc of aggregates of the concrete tones, which may be caUn1 the phrases of melody. Their forms are pointed oat in u« notation of the following lines:— Tl1.1t quar- ter most the skit- ful Greeka eat* as*. various forms according to the component parts and the sense. Plain declarative sentences generally take one form or other of the cadence, in order to mark the satisfactory close of the period; and downward concretes are also frequently introduced into what are called loose sentences, to denole that the sense is complete, and that the succeeding clause does not modify that which precedes it. Where, on the contrary, the sense is suspended, as it most commonly is in the middle of a sentence, the concretes must have an upward direction. For conveying the peculiarities of sentiment or feeling, or, in other words, for the expression of speech, a much more varied apparatus is necessary. This expression is effected hy quality, time, pause, melody, pitch, the waves, the semitones, the tremor, force, and rhythm, all which are only so many forms of the four general divisions of vocal sound above specified. I. Most of the elements which range under the general head of Quality have already been enumerated. It must however be remarked that they are susceptible of combination with the various modes and degrees of force, time, and pitch. In short, quality of voice must necessarily be united with some of the degrees of the other genera; for, whatever be the kind, it will be either strong or weak; its time must be long or short; and it must be of some definite radical or concrete pitch. Certain qualities of the voice are however exclusively congenial with particular conditions of these other accidents; thus smoothness will more generally affect the moderate degrees of force. II. Time.— The degrees of duration of the voice represented by the terms long, short, and the rate by quick and slow, are among the most effective means of expression; rage, mirth, raillery, and impatience affecting a quick time; nnd slowness of time being the symbol of sorrow, grief, respoct, veneration, dignity, apathy, contrition, and all other sentiments which embrace the idea of deliberation. A slow t ime of discourse, if not made by long quantities on single syllables, would be offensive from its pauses; these two forms of time therefore necessarily involve each other. Slowness of time and long quantity are generally joined ■with the element of the wave, since the return, or contrary liexure of intervals, is one of the means for producing an extension of time without destroying the equable concrete of speech, or, in other words, without passing into song. The wave of a tone will be perceived in the dignified and appropriate utterance of the syllables marked in italics in the following lines:— * ftfrdou me, thou bleediug piece of earth. That 1 am meek and gentle with these butchera.' • Hail, huly light, offspring of heareu, flrst-fccrtl. Or of the eternal ro-elernal beam, May 1 express Uice, unbtamedf III. The use of Pause for the more conspicuous display of sense and sentiment, by separating certain words or aggregates of words from each other, is of great consequence in elocution, but cannot be gone into at length in this article. To these pauses the grammatical points are by no means a sufficient guide. [punctuation.] IV. A comprehensive aacount of Melody would properly represent it as produced by a variation in the time, pauses, force, and pitch of the voice, since the well-appointed uses and dispositions of these accidents make up the agreeable impression of speech; but we use it here as relating solely to the successions of radical pitch. Under this head it may be remarked that a predominance of the monotone is suited to feelings of dignity, grief, tenderness, solemnity, and serious admonition; that the alternate phrase well describes f he-earnest excitement necessarily produced by the rapid succession of incident; and that a progression gradually rising and falling through the whole compass of the voice corresponds with a wide variation of force in the sentiment. For illustrations of these modes see Dr. Rush's Philosophy of the Voter, pp. 112, 144. V. Pilch.—Discrete pitch is illustrated by the word must in the following passage. As it is a syllable which does not admit of prolongation, it is raised discretely a third above the preceding:— • If I must contend, eajd he. Best with the best, the sender, not the sent. We have an example of a concrete rising fifth on beau-, and of a discrete third on mor-, in the following •— P. C, No. 1036. If we suppose that the following words are spoken interrogatively, and that they express surprise, the concrete rising fifth must be given to the emphatic syllables: Give Brutus a statue with His ancestors? If, on the other hand, the line be read as a command, the direction of the concretes will be downwards. On the word know, in the following clause, not only does the voice descend concretely a third or a fifth, but the descent begins discretely a third above the preceding word:— We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. As the diatonic melody is suited to plain narration and description, so will the emphasis be the more strongly marked in proportion to the wider extent of the intervals, whether of concrete or of discrete pitch, which are employed. It may also be remarked in general, that the upward concretes denote interrogation, doubt, or what is concessive, conditional, hypothetical; the downward concretes denote what is strong, certain, authoritative, as also wonder, admiration, surprise, and exclamation, when not conjoined with an interrogative meaning. VI. The Wave is a very frequent element of expression, and performs high functions in speech. In its minor forms it is used to give length and emphasis to syllables and dignity to utterance; in its wider intervals it is admirably expressive of irony and derision. Thus the irony of the following passage can be brought out only by the indirect wave of a fifth in both places in which it occurs:— But it i9 foolish in us to compare Dmsus Africanns and ourselves with Clodiua; all our other calamities were tolerable, but no one can patiently bear the death of Clodius. VII. The Semitones.—These are used for the expression of complaint, pity, grief, plaintive supplication, and other sentiments congenial with these. The intonation by the concrete semitone is universally the symbol of nature for animal distress. It affects generally a slow time and long quantity in utterance, and is therefore most commonly heard in the form of the wave. The interjective exclamations of pain, grief, love, and compassion, are prolongations of the tonic elements on this interval: but it maybe executed on the short time of immutable syllables, such as cup. The appropriate utterance of the following line will exhibit the wave of the semitone on the most important syllables, poor and old being distinguished by direct unequal waves of the same interval. It must be taken as an isolated line, and not in conjunction with the verse of which it forms part:— Pi- ty the aor- rows of a poor old man. VIII. The Tremor.—When the tremulous function is made through the second, third, fifth, or octave, or through the wave of these intervals, it joins the sentiment of derision, mirth, joy, or exultation, to that of interrogation, surprise, command, or scorn, conveyed by the smooth concrete of those intervals. In short, it is the introduction into speech of what is transferable in the function of laughter, and it adds thereto all the meaning and force of its satisfaction. Thus 'Thou art the ruins of the Noblest man, That ever lived in Uie tide ol time,-;.' There is a sentiment of exultation and a superlativeness of compliment in this eulogy, which cannot be properly expressed by the smooth movement of the concrete; but if the first syllable of the emphatic word noblest be uttered with the tremulous intonation of the wave of the third or second, this will give the vocal consummation to the feeling which suggests the exceeding measure of the praise. The chuckle is an example of a somewhat similar application. When the tremor is formed of a single tonic, in the semitone or its waves, it constitutes the function of crying; and when employed in the syllabic intonation of the chromatic Vol. XVI.—3 P melody, it sets a more marked distinction on those emphatic words which express the sentiments of tenderness, grief, supplication, ana other connatural states of feeling. This may be illustrated on the emphatic syllables of the line just quoted:—* Pity the sorrows, &c. IX. The application of the different degrees of Force to the purposes of expression is almost too obvious to require illustration. Thus the distance of a person spoken to is pictured by loudness, and nearness by abatement of force; secrecy muffles the voice against discovery, and doubt adopts the subterfuge of an undertone. Certainty and anger assume force and strength. All sentiments which are unbecoming or disgraceful smother the voice into softer degrees, in the desire to conceal even the voluntary utterance of them. Joy is loud, and so are bodily pain, fear, and terror. Such are some of the uses of force when applied to phrases, or to one or more sentences, in order to distinguish them from adjacent phrases or sentences in discourse. There are other applications of it, to single words, to syllables, and to certain parts of the concrete movement, into which, though of some consequence, it is not within the purport of this article to enter. They will be found described in Dr. Rush's Philosophy of the Voice. The common idea of Emphasis, it may be remarked, is that of mere force; but it is more correctly defined to bo the expressive but occasional distinction of a syllable, and consequently of the whole word, by one or more of the specific modes of time, quality, force, and pitch. Most of these have been illustrated under the above heads. X. Rhythm is one of the applications of force and quantity. It may be defined to be the metrical arrangement of speech. It is not mainly dependant on custom or on the genius of any language whatever, but arises from the very manner in which speech is produced, and is as involuntary as the throb or remission of the pulse, or the inhaling and respiration of the breath. In the formation of speech there is a regular action and reaction of the organs which produce it. To form a heavy syllable, or one which has accentual 6tress upon it, these organs are necessarily placed in a certain position; and from their very nature it is necessary that, before they form another heavy syllable, they should recover their first position; but the time which is occupied in this recovery of their position is not always lost to the purposes of speech, for it may be filled up with one or more syllables, which have no stress, and which are therefore very properly denominated light; if it is not filled up in this way it is a pause or rest. To illustrate this, let us take the words— One, two, three, four, five. These monysllables, if distinctly and deliberately pronounced, have two peculiarities; each has the organic stress or emphasis, and each has a pause after it. Let these pauses he filled up with the light syllable and; and then the two lines, viz.:—' One anil two and three and four and Ave and One, two, three, four, five. will be of exactly the same length as to time in music, or rhythm in speech, the syllable and occupying no more time than what necessarily intervenes between the syllables under organic emphasis. This alternate action and reaction of the organs of speech was called by the Greeks by the significant terms Thesis and Arsis.- the former denoting the setting down of a syllable, as the setting down of the foot in walking; the latter denoting the raising of it up, like the lifting of the foot from the ground; the former producing the heavy syllables, the latter the light ones. The weight of syllables, or in other words, the stress with which they are enunciated, must be carefully distinguished from their quantity, since the weight or stress with which the syllable is uttered does not always correspond to the relative time which the utterance requires. Thus in the word pensive, the syllable pen is the heavier, but it is not longer than the syllable sive. So also in the word inward, there is an equality of time in the two syllables, but not of weight. In banish, banner, banter, the first syllable is heavy but short; in paper, taper, vapour, it is both heavy and long; and the same observation applies to misery, middle, mistress, compared with miser, minor, mitre. Those emphatical divisions into which, from the very nature of the organs, all speech naturally falls, are called by writers on this subject^cadences* Every full ipokn cadence consists of a heavy syllable, and of one or mot light ones, but pauses may be substituted to make up the tune which any of these syllables would occupy. Measure, or metre, therefore in speech naturally distributes itself into two kinds: common measure, which, according to Mr. Steel*. is the allotment of two crotchets or their equivalents toeadi cadence; and triple measure, which is the allotment of three crotchets or their equivalents to each cadence; emphasis however will sometimes prolong the duration of > cadence beyond the allotted time, just as an ad libitum a allowed in solos in music. Without entering further inui minute distinctions or exceptions, the following may tern as specimens of each kind. This mark $ indicates a abort pause, this || a longer, and this % a still longer one:— Common Measure. So \ | spoke the J guardian | 5 of the | Trojan | state. | "Then | rush'd lm- | peluous \ \ through the | Sevan | fate*; | "'■n I Paris | follow d | (to the I dire a- | Una*: | \ | breatliing | slaughter, ( | holh re- | solv'd in | arm*.* | Pope"* IHmt, b.*k> 'Straight mine | eye ( hath | caught new | pleasure*. | Whilst the | landscape | round ( it | measure*, | Russet | lawns S, and | fallows | grey, | Where the | nibbling | flocks \ do feu-ay; | Mountains^ I on whose | barreu { breast The | labouring | cloud* \ do | often | rest* | Triple Measure. 'IS At the I close of the | dajj when the | hamlet is | still.« And | mortals § the | sweets of for- | gelfulnes* | prove;} | *{| When | nought but the | torrents is [heard oo the J hiU.} And | nought but the J nightingale's | sung § in the | gnov*.*|| If this system of measuring verse were adopted, the prosody not only of our own but of the learned languaft. would be greatly simplified. The list of feet which b usually given at the beginning of the 'Gradus atl Parnusum,' would be reduced to four or five; we should hear ut no such unnatural foot as an iamb or an anapaest, and ll* syllable at the beginning of an iambic line would either of itself form a cadence, or would he the close of a cadence, of which a pause or the last syllable of the preceding hn» would form the commencement. Those lines of Anacrca would then be reduced to the trochaic measure, thus:— || 3t\- | w \f- I yuv 'A- | rpulac, | || 7f,\- [ u c'i | KaC/iov | (f<~uv, | $ d | 0ap/3i- | roc St | X"(»""'C | || •> | paira | fiovvov j Ijx". | From the above examples it is clear that there is a regain rhythmus in poetry; and it cannot be necessary to insistea this being strictly attended to, if we would read Terse to is agreeable and expressive manner. Prose also has its rbtttmus, for the alternate action and reaction of the organs of speech necessarily proceeds, whether what is spoken be pro* or verse; and the only difference (so far as sound is coocerned) between these two species of composition is, that ve ** consists of a regular succession of similar cadences, or rf I limited variety of cadences, divided by grammatical pauxs and emphasis into proportional clauses, so as to pr**eM sensible responses to the ear at regular proportioned distances; prose, on the other hand, is composed of all sorts a? cadences, arranged without attention to obvious rule, Bj^ divided into clauses which have no obviously ascertain*-: proportion, and present no responses to the ear at any *rsptimate or determined intervals. There is nothing which contributes more to the rbrthmical flow of prose than giving a light sound to n**mn syllables. It' this be done, they then form the latter parte/ cadences, of which either pauses, or i-mphatical monor.\Iia!>a. or the emphasized syllables of longer words form the atginning; hut if they be pronounced heavy, it is then •**cessary that they should themselves form the bcgtnranf «.' new cadences, which is the occasion of many pauses fessx-r, introduced, and of a heavy and halting character betaf communicated to the piece. Thus the clause *l*»t ut your I heart be | troubled,' j wiH be rhythmical if Jpur**- V* thus made a light syllable; but the effect will be Tvt different if it be read thus:—' Let not | your { | heart be I troubled.' | Of the advantage of cadences in triple measure we hm a beautiful illustration in the first verse of the Psalm:— 1 ^'O give] I thanks unto the | Lo-d ;: | j for lie is | goal. | | |*Wb*a|l eu- I durcth for ! ever.' Q [ * More properly rhythmical cadences, to distinguish then (ratal ttst «as* of melody. Mr. Cull would prefer the term nicvnurrs. On the other hand, a succession of heavy syllables, with a pause intervening, is one of the most expressive forms of emphasis both in prose and verse. Thus the following line from Milton would lose all its force, if read so as to form only the usual number of six caderices: emphasis prolongs it to eight, thus:— 'Bocks, I | caves, j | lakes, j | fen), | | bogs,| | dens and | shades of | death.' | | Independently of its agreeable effect upon the ear, and its power as an element of expression, there can be no doubt that, as rhythm arises from the very manner in which speech is produced by the organs, he who speaks agreeably to its laws will speak easily to himself. The practice of reading or speaking aloud, with a due attention to the rhythmus, may even be recommended as a means of improving the health, since it brings into regular and natural action the muscles of the face, the throat, and the chest; and no attempt completely and permanently to remove impediments of speech can be successful, which is not based on the principle here developed. (A succinct account of rhythm will be found in Wood's Grammar of Elocution, ch. iv. and v.; and the subject is treated much more at length in Steele's Prosodia Rationalis; in Thelwall's Illustrations of English Rhythmus; in Roe's Principles of Rhythm; and in Chapman's Music, Melody, and Rhythmus of the English Language, 8vo, Edinburgh, 1819; as well as in his Rhythmical Grammar, 12mo, 1821.) Method of Training and Strengthening the Voice..—In order to read and speak well, it is necessary to have all the vocal elements under complete command, so that they may be duly applied whenever they are required for the vivid and elegant delineation of the sense and sentiment of discourse. The student therefore should first practise on the thirty-five alphabetic elements, in order to ensure a true and easy execution of their unmixed sounds. This will be of more use than pronouncing words in which they occur; for when pronounced singly, the elements will receive a concentration of the organic effort, which will give them a clearness of sound and a definite outline, if we may so speak, at their extremes, making a fine preparation for their distinct and forcible pronunciation in the compounds of speech. He should then take one or more of the tonic elements, and carry it through all the degrees of the diatonic and concrete scales, both in an upward and a downward direction, and through the principal forms of the wave. He should next take some one familiar sentence, and practise upon it with every variety of intonation of which it will admit. He should afterwards ran through the phrases of melody, and the forms of the cadence; and lastly he should recite, with all the force that he can command, some passage which requires great exertion of the voice. If he would acquire power and volume of utterance, he must practise in the open air, with his face to the wind, his body perfectly erect, his chest expanded, his tongue retracted and depressed, and the cavity of his mouth as much as possible enlarged ; and it is almost unnecessary to add that anything which improves the general tone of the health will proportionably affect the voice. If to this elementary practice the student add a careful and discriminating analysis of some of the best pieces which our language contains, both in prose and verse, and if he strenuously endeavour to apply to them all the scientific principles which he has learned, there can be no doubt that he will acquire a manner of delivery, which will do ample justice to any subject on which he maybe called to exercise his vocal powers. Intimately connected with the subject of delivery is that of Action. Oratorical action has been defined to be the just and elegant adaptation of every part of the body to the nature and import of the subject on which we are speaking. As every man who feels his subject will necessarily have some action, it is of consequence that it should be graceful and significant. The first point to be attained is to avoid awkward habits, such as resting the chief weight of the body first on one foot and then on the othsr, swinging to and fro, jerking forward the upper part of the body on every emphatic word, keeping the elbows pinioned to the sides, and sawing the air with one hand with one unvaried and ungraceful motion. As for the attainment of excellences, more specific rules must be sought for in professed treatises on the subject, but the following general directions will be found to embrace much that is useful: 'Keep the trunk of the body erect; let your hands be at liberty; feel your subject, and the action will come; recollecting at tha same time that the right hand is essentially the instrumen of action, and that the left should be used only as subordinate to it.' As gesture is used for the illustration and enforcement of language, so it should be limited in its application to such words and passages as admit of or require it. A judicious speaker will not only adapt the general style and manner of his action to the subject, the place, and the occasion, but even when he allows himself the greatest latitude, he will reserve his gesture, or at least the force and ornament of it, for those parts of his discourse for which ho also reserves his boldest thoughts and his most brilliant expressions. (On the subject of action very minute directions will be (bund in Austin's Chimnomia, London, 4to., 1806; see also Chapman's Music of the English Language, p. 112; and Walker's Elements of Elocution.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

Note - this article incorporates content from The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1840)

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