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emphasise the conjunction and, we not only exhibit the true meaning of the passage, but add much to its impressiveness.
Canst thou believe thy Prophet, or what's more,
That Power Supreme that made thee-and thy Prophet?
Emphatic pauses then are used for two purposes :-first to indicate the author's meaning, and secondly to add to it impressiveness. And we may safely say, that but few articles in elocution are more deserving of attention than this.
5. By changing the seat of accent. What is done, cannot be undone. There is a material difference between giving and forgiving. Are not my ways equal? Are not your ways unequal?
But notwithstanding we exhibit emphasis in all these forms, and in each form with a variety of intensity and intonation; stress, higher pitch of voice, and prolongation of sound, are the most common; and the other kinds of emphasis should be seldom used, except in ornamental or impassioned passages.
In solemn and dignified composition emphasis should be chiefly made by long quantity,,
The beauty and force of reading, consisting principally in the judicious use of emphasis, too much attention cannot be paid to this subject. A monotonous elocution not only fails to throw out the sense and feeling of the subject read, but soon becomes wearisome and disgusting. The faculty, then, of emphasising with facility and correctness, is an object of the first importance. Nor is the attainment of it in ordinary composition either impossible or difficult. Guided as we are by nature, in efforts of this description, industry is always certain of success. Half the labour requisite for the acquisition of the science and art of music, would render us accomplished orators.
The design of emphasis is either to indicate the meaning of the author; to increase the harmony of the period; or to add impressiveness. Its seat in the first instance, is always upon antithetic words and phrases, and may from this circumstance be easily ascertained. As, we must éat to live; not live to eat. The one finds more resources in his poverty to signalize his mercy, than the other in his riches to satisfy his cruelty. I said a bétter not an elder soldier. But when emphasis should be used to increase the harmony of the period, the seat is not so easily ascertained. This can be done only by a good ear and some knowledge of Rhythmus. The greatest difficulty, however, in the use of emphasis, consists in so applying it, as to produce the
greatest effect. To accomplish this, some science, great prac tice, delicate feeling, and the assistance of judicious judges, are all requisite. The controversy which has long obtained, in reference to the emphasis of the clause-Did you speak to it? sufficiently demonstrates the difficulty which exists in this part of elocution. In pronouncing this question, Garrick laid the emphasis on speak, and Kemble on you. Did you speak to it? said the former, and, Did you speak to it? said the latter.
If the sense of what is read requires the frequent use of emphasis, there should be a variety of manner in its exhibition. In the following sentence, if each emphatic word is pronounced with increased force, it adds greatly to its beauty. Happy, happy, happy pair; none but the brave, nóne but the brave, none but the brave deserves the fair. So also in Hamlet. What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action, how like an ANGEL! in apprehension, how like a GOD!
To the acquisition of correctness and facility in the use of em phasis, deliberately marking emphatic words, and submitting the result to judicious judges, will contribute much. By this process, the improvement of even children, will be surprizing to those who have never witnessed the experiment. All teachers should enjoin this exercise.
CHAPTER IV. Of MODULATION,
Modulation signifies the accommodation of the expressive powers of the voice to the varieties of sentiment and passion; and comprehends Pitch-Rhythmus-Quality-Time-and Abruptness.
SECTION 1. Of Pitch,
Pitch may be considered first, in reference to the body or stress of the voice, and secondly, in regard to its slide or terminating movement.
I. In the first sense, pitch is that point in the compass of the speaking voice, which in the enunciation of words it strikes with the greatest force. If the proportions of this compass be graduated according to the diatonic scale-pitch is that line or space which the voice touches in its upward and downward
This scale comprehends the whole compass of the speaking voice: for if a series of other scales be added, either above or be
low it, each one in its corresponding degrees will bear to this such a relation in point of concord, that it will be only a kind of repetition: For other than the sounds here indicated the human voice never makes.
2. But pitch regards not only the movement of the body of the voice, but also its slide or terminating motion. In pronounc ing a passage on the same note, there will be on every accented letter, a gliding of the voice either upwards or downwards. This will appear distinctly in reading the following lines:
Did you not speak to it? My lord I did.
Hold you the watch to night? We dò my lord.
Then saw you not his fáce? O yès my lord.
When the voice proceeds in a horizontal direction it is said to be monotonous; when it slides upwards or downwards, to be inflected; and when it assumes both these motions on one syllable or word, to be circumflected. The simple inflection commences at the accented letter, and continues moving till it vanishes out of hearing. This kind of inflection must be confined to the interval of two notes: for the instant it passes this boundary, it assumes the form of force, and this force increases in exact proportion to the extent of its movement.
That these inflections are natural and necessary ingredients of good reading, every cultivated ear will instantly perceive; but the correct use of them is often difficult. This, however, results chiefly from two things. First, from confounding pitch and inflection; and secondly, from not sufficiently discriminating those inflections which are necessary to exhibit the author's meaning, from those which are merely ornamental. The first can easily be reduced to rule; the latter must be left to taste.
In pronouncing the following line, "Thus spake the seraph Abdiel," many think the first syllable has the rising, and the last one the falling inflection. But this mistake results from confounding the body of the pitch and its slide. The first syllable has the rising inflection, and a high commencing pitch; the other syllables have a lower commencing pitch, but the same A'b inflection. Thus diel. But in the following lines, the word annoy has on its last syllable, not only the rising inflection, but a higher pitch.
That quarter most the skilful Greeks an
In the use of inflections, the following rules, I think, may be depended on:
1. Wherever there is a continuation of sense in a passage, the voice must indicate that continuation by the rising slide. "He that thinks he can afford to be négligent of his expenses, is not far from being poòr."
"Here the rising inflections, says a learned writer, gradually ascend on the scale till the voice attains the highest suspension at the word expenses; and then it as gradually declines: each inflection rising less than its immediate predecessor, till the occurrence of the extreme falling inflection at the end, where the voice descends a fifth below the note with which the sentence began."
2. Questions, admitting the answer yes or no, have the rising inflection on the last emphatic word. Are they Hébrews? Are they áll Hebrews? Are they Hebrews from Pálestine?
3. Questions, not admitting the answer yes or no, have the rising inflection on the interrogatory word, and the falling on the last word in the sentence. Which is the letter? Where is the màn? Of whom did you speak? Whó sendeth the early and the latter rain?
4. All answers to questions have the falling slide. Did you speak to me? Yès. Will you go to-morrow? Nò. Who continually keeps the globe, in which we dwell, in its òrbit? Gòd.
5. The last word of a parenthesis has the same inflection that was given to the last word or words immediately preceding its commencement. If there's a power above us (and that there is all nature cries aloud through all her works) he must delight in virtue. Beneath a mountain's brów (the most remote and inaccessible by shepherds tród) in a deep cave (dug by no mortal hánd) an hermit liv'd.
6. A sentence containing a simple proposition with something added to explain or qualify it, has the rising inflection at the end of the proposition. The predominance of a favorite stúdy, effects all the subordinate operations of the intellect. No evil is insupportable, but that which is accompanied with a consciousness of wrong.
7. A sentence consisting of two principal members, requires the rising slide at the end of the first member. As there is an essential difference between light and darkness, between pleasure and pain, between sweet and bitter; so, there is an essential difference between virtue and vice.
8. Sentences enumerating particulars, from which a consequence follows, have the rising slide upon the last member of the series. To find the nearest way from truth to truth, or from pur
pose to effect; not to use more instruments when fewer will be sufficient; not to move by wheels and lever what will give way to the naked hand; is the great proof of a vigorous mind: Neither feeble with helpless ignorance, nor overburthened with useless knowledge.
9. When the disjunctive or connects words or clauses, it has the rising infection before and the falling inflection after it. Shall I come to you with a ród? or in love. Is this book yours? or is it mine.
10 The rising slide should generally be used at the last pause but one in a sentence, and the falling slide at the end of it. Our lives, says Seneca, consist either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we oùght to do.
11. When negation is opposed to affirmation, the former has the rising, and the latter the falling slide. You were paid to fight not to rail. I did not say a better, but an elder soldier.
12. Supplicatory sentences should be pronounced with the rising inflection on the more expressive words. O God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy upon us miserable sinners. O God, the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, have mercy upon us miserable sinners.
13. Authoritative sentences should have the falling slide. Thou shalt do no mùrder. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
The note of admiration has no peculiar and definite influence on inflection: for, being the sign of passion, it is governed wholly by the feeling which prompted it. We accordingly read exclamatory sentences with either the rising or falling slide, as the emotion they express indicates. How often have disappointments, in their consequences, saved a man from rùin. Ŵhát! might Rome have been taken, had not those men at your gates wanted courage for the attempt? Róme taken while I' was consul!
Respecting the ornamental use of the inflections, I shall say but little. Indeed, upon farther reflection, I shall say nothing. For such is the great diversity of taste, there is no possibility of confining it by definite rules. And rules that are not definite are worse than nothing for children.
But the voice, besides using the rising and falling inflections simply, not unfrequently combines them. This combination is called a circumflex, and resembles in some degree the movement of a wave. The rising circumflex begins with the falling, and ends with the rising slide. Thus, I'll use you for my mirth, yea for my