Page images

16. I defy the honorable gentleman; I defy the GOVERNMENT; I defy the WHOLE PHALANX.

16. Strike till the last armed foe expires! STRIKE for your altars and your fires ! STRIKE for the green graves of your sires !

17. He has allowed us to meet you here, and, in the name of the present generation, in the name of your COUNTRY, in the name of LIBERTY, to thank you.

18. They shouted France! SPAIN! ALBION ! VICTORY!

NotE.—Both inflection and accent yield to emphasis. Its effect upon the former will be shown in the next section; its effect upon the latter may be seen in the following examples :

1. He must increase, but I must decrease.
2. What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ?

3. We are not to inquire into the justice or injustice, the honor or dishönor, of the deed. 4. We naturally love what is agreeable, and hate what is disagreeable.

NOTE.—It will be perceived that the application of emphasis changes the customary place of accent in a number of the words of these examples.

QUESTIONS. -What is emphasis ? What is its object? Is this always accomplished by uttering the word with greater stress? In what other ways may it be effected? How are emphatic words indicated to the eye? How is emphasis divided ? Will you define antithetic emphasis ? Give the first rule and an example to illustrate it. Will you define absolute emphasis ? Cumulative emphasis ? Will you repeat Rule II. ? Rule III. ? Illustrate by examples. What effect does emphasis sometimes have upon accent ? Give examples.


INFLECTION. INFLECTION is a bend or slide of the voice, either apward or downward.

There are two inflections,—the rising inflection, and the falling inflection.

The rising inflection is a bending or a sliding of the voice upward.

The falling inflection is a bending or a sliding of the voice downward.

This mark (), which is called the acute accent, indicates the rising inflection; and this (), called the grave accent, denotes the falling inflection.

The union of both inflections upon the same syl lable or word is called a circumflex. If the circumflex ends with the rising inflection, it is called the rising circumflex, and is marked thus (V); if it ends with the falling inflection, it is called the falling circumflex, and is marked thus (^).

The monotone is the sameness of sound which pre. vails when a succession of syllables or words is uttered on the same pitch. It is marked thus (-).

The degrees of elevation and depression through which the inflections extend are not always the same, but are varied according to the nature of the language which is uttered. In ordinary conversation, and in simple narrative and description, the inflections should not pass through more than three tones; but in earnest conversation or declamation, and in the expression of vehement emotion, they may extend through five, six, or eight tones.

It is comparatively easy to give the rising inflection; but the falling inflection cannot be given correctly without a great deal of careful practice. The chief difficulty consists in beginning it on the right pitch. By inexpert readers it is almost always commenced on the medium pitch, and then, in order that it may be sufficiently extended, the voice must glide down to a point considerably below the same as in a cadence or a perfect close. The incorrect manner may be represented thus:

[blocks in formation]





He said that winds, were his brothers.

In giving the rising inflection, the voice begins with the medium pitch and rises above it; in giving the falling inflection, the voice begins above and falls down to the medium pitch, or to a point near it, either a little below or above. The inflection given at a period extends below the medium pitch; and, to distinguish it from the falling inflection used at other pauses, some elocutionists call it a cadence, and others a perfect close.


1. Do you wish me to say an', or ah'?
2. I wish you to say ah', not ah'.
3. Did you ask him to say hope', or rope'?
4. I asked him to say hope', not rope'.
5. Did he do it knowingly', or unknowingly'?
6. He did it knowingly, not unknowingly'? '.
7. Sink' or swim', live or die', survivel or perish!
8. We live in deeds', not years'; in thoughts', not breaths'.

9. We fight for our country', our altars', and our homes'.
10. Did he say ărm, or arm?
11. He said ârm, not ărm.
12. I am going to my cold and silent grave!.

Note.—The movements of the voice in reading these sentences may be represented thus:

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]



We live in needs not yearsin longhite not breathe
Wo fight for our Se , our play and our dog
Did he say em, or sim?


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

NOTE.—Let the inflection in the following examples be given in the same manner, varying the degrees of the inflections according to the character of the passage.

13. Didst thou not sow good seed in thy field' ? 14. Who is here so base that would be a bondman'?'. 15. Shall we try argument/? 16. But when shall we be stronger'? 17. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication'? 18. Was it from heaven', or of men'?

19. Will you come', or will you go!?
20. I said hore', not hope'.
21. He that planted the ear, shall be not hear'?
22. Courage'? No! Virtue/? No!.
23. Must I budge'? Must I observe you'?
24. Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction'?
25. William says more', not more'.
26. He does not say who', but who'.
27. They act honestly', not dishonestly'.
28. Say cold', not cold'.
29. Who cares for you?
30. I will not hărm you.
31. I will not hârm you.
32. He is your friend, is he?
33. You, you say so ?
34. Do you say old, or old?
35. I say old, not old.
36. They are gone down to the grave!
37. The storm increased! Deep called unto deep'.
38. O thöū thāt rõllest above, rõūnd as the shield of my fathers !

QUESTIONS.—What is inflection? What is the movement of the voice in the rising inflection? In the falling inflection ? In the rising circumflex? In the falling circumflex? Give examples of each. Will you define monotone, and give an example? What is the difference between the falling inflection given at a period and that given at other pauses ?


RULE I.—Direct questions, or those that can be answered by yes or no, generally take the rising inflection.


1. Fear ye foes who kill for hire/?

2. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation'?

3. He that planted the ear, shall be not hear'? He that formed the eye, shall he not see' ?

4. Is that ground holy where the bloody hand of the murderer sleeps for crime/?

5. Will any one answer, by a sneer, that all this is idle preaching'? Are despots alone to be reproached for unfeeling indifference to the tears and blood of their subjects ?

« PreviousContinue »