The Art of Public Speaking HTML version
The joyous tones are the bright tones. Develop them by exercise. Practise your voice exercises in an attitude
of joy. Under the influence of pleasure the body expands, the tone passages open, the action of heart and lungs
is accelerated, and all the primary conditions for good tone are established.
More songs float out from the broken windows of the negro cabins in the South than from the palatial homes
on Fifth Avenue. Henry Ward Beecher said the happiest days of his life were not when he had become an
international character, but when he was an unknown minister out in Lawrenceville, Ohio, sweeping his own
church, and working as a carpenter to help pay the grocer. Happiness is largely an attitude of mind, of viewing
life from the right angle. The optimistic attitude can be cultivated, and it will express itself in voice charm. A
telephone company recently placarded this motto in their booths: "The Voice with the Smile Wins." It does.
Reading joyous prose, or lyric poetry, will help put smile and joy of soul into your voice. The following
selections are excellent for practise.
REMEMBER that when you first practise these classics you are to give sole attention to two things: a joyous
attitude of heart and body, and bright tones of voice. After these ends have been attained to your satisfaction,
carefully review the principles of public speaking laid down in the preceding chapters and put them into
practise as you read these passages again and again. It would be better to commit each selection to memory.
SELECTIONS FOR PRACTISE
FROM MILTON'S "L'ALLEGRO"
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee Jest, and youthful Jollity, Quips and Cranks and wanton Wiles, Nods
and Becks, and wreathèd Smiles, Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, And love to live in dimple sleek,-- Sport that
wrinkled Care derides, And Laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it as ye go On the light fantastic toe; And in thy right hand lead with thee The mountain
nymph, sweet Liberty: And, if I give thee honor due, Mirth, admit me of thy crew, To live with her, and live
with thee, In unreprovèd pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight, And singing, startle the dull Night From his watch-tower in the skies, Till the
dappled Dawn doth rise; Then to come in spite of sorrow, And at my window bid good-morrow Through the
sweetbrier, or the vine, Or the twisted eglantine; While the cock with lively din Scatters the rear of darkness
thin, And to the stack, or the barn-door, Stoutly struts his dames before;
Oft listening how the hounds and horn Cheerly rouse the slumbering Morn, From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill; Sometime walking, not unseen, By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate, Where the great Sun begins his state, Robed in flames and amber light, The
clouds in thousand liveries dight, While the plowman near at hand Whistles o'er the furrowed land, And the
milkmaid singing blithe, And the mower whets his scythe, And every shepherd tells his tale, Under the
hawthorn in the dale.
The sea, the sea, the open sea, The blue, the fresh, the fever free; Without a mark, without a bound, It runneth
the earth's wide regions round; It plays with the clouds, it mocks the skies, Or like a cradled creature lies. I'm
on the sea, I'm on the sea, I am where I would ever be, With the blue above and the blue below, And silence
wheresoe'er I go. If a storm should come and awake the deep, What matter? I shall ride and sleep.