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observed. Unless the voice sympathetically adapts itself to the emotion or sentiment, and regulates its pauses accordingly, it will but imperfectly interpret what it utters.
118. The study of pronunciation, in the ancient and most comprehensive sense of that word, comprised the consideration not only of what syllables of a word ought to be accented, but of what words of a sentence ought to be emphasized. The term Em'phasis, from a Greek word, signifying to point out, or show, is now commonly used to signify the stress to be laid upon certain words in a sentence. It is divided by some writers into emphasis of force, which we lay on almost every significant word · and emphasis of sense, which we lay on particular words, to distinguish them from the rest of the sentence.
119. The importance of emphasis to the right delivery of thoughts in speech must be obvious on the slightest reflection. “Go and ask how old Mrs. Remnant is,” said a father to his dutiful son. The latter hurried away, and soon returned with the report that Mrs. Remnant had replied, that it was none of his business how old she was.” The poor man had intended merely to inquire into the state of her health ; but he accident ally put a wrong emphasis on the adjective old.
120. Another instance of misapprehension will illus'trate the import ance of emphasis. A stranger from the country, observing an ordinary roller-rule on a table, took it up, and, on asking what it was used for, was answered, “It is a rule for counting-houses.” After turning it over and over, and up and down, and puzzling his brain for some time, he at last, in a paroxysm of baffled curiosity, exclaimed, “How in the name of wonder do you count houses with this ? ” If his informer had rightly bestowed his emphasis, the misconception of his meaning would not have taken place.
121. Emphasis and intonation must, as Dr. Blair has remarked, be left to the good sense and feeling of the reader. Accumulations of rules on the subject are unprofitable and delusive ; and the cases wherein the rules hold good are often less numerous than the exceptions. If you thoroughiy understand and feel what you have to utter, and have your attention concen'trated upon it, you will emphasize better than by attempting to conform your emphasis to any rules or marks dictated by one writer, and perhaps contradicted by another.
122. A boy at his sports is never at a loss how to make his emphasis expressive. If he have to say to a companion, “I want your bat, not your ball,” or “I'm going to skate, not to coast,” he will not fail to emphasize and inflect the italicized words aright. And why? Simply because he knows what he means, and attends to it. Let the reader study to know what his reading-lesson means, and he will spend his time more profitably than in pondering over marks and rules of disputed application. It is for the teacher, by his o'ral example, to instil a realization of this fact into the minds of the young.
123. Dr. Whately, in his Treatise on Rhetoric, pointedly condemns the artificial system of teaching elocution by marks and rules, as worse than useless. His objections have been disputed, but never answered. They are : first, that the proposed system must necessarily be imperfect ; seca ondly, that, if it were perfect, it would be a circuitous path to the object in view ; and, thirdly, that, even if both these objections were removed, the object would not be effectually obtained.
124. He who not only understands fully what he is reading, but is earnestly occupying his mind with the matter of it, will be likely to read as if he understood it, and thus to make others understand it; and, in like manner, he who not only feels it, but is exclusively absorbed with that feeling, will be likely to read as if he felt it, and communicate his impression to his hearers.
EXERCISES ON EMPHASIS.
I. In their prosperity, my friends shall never hear of me; in their adver. sity, always.
II. There is no possibility of speaking properly the language of any passion without feeling it.
III. A book that is to be read requires one sort of style; a man that is to speak must use another.
IV. A sentiment which, expressed diffusely, will barely be admitted to be just, expressed concisely will be admired as spirited.
V. Whatever may have been the origin of pastoral poetry, it is undoubt. odly a natural and very agreeable form of poetical composition.
VI. A stream that runs within its banks is a beautiful object; but when it rushes down with the impetuosity and noise of a torrent, it presently becomes a sublime one.
VII. A French sermon is, for the most part, a warm, animated exhortation; an English one is a piece of cool, instructive reasoning. The French preachers address themselves chiefly to the imagination and the passions ; the English, almost solely to the understanding.
VIII. Those who complain of the shortness of life let it slide by them without wishing to seize and make the most of its golden minutes. The more we do, the more we can do ; the more busy we are, the more leisure we have.
IX. Those who, without knowing us, think ill of us, do us no wrong; it is not ourselves whom they attack, but the phantom of their imaginations.
X. Sound logic is the siņews of eloquence. Without solid argument, oratory is empty noise, and the orator is a declaimer or a sophist.
XI. There is hardly anybody good for everything, and there is scarcely anybody who is absolutely good for nothing. A good chemist will extract some spirit or other out of every substance ; and a man of sagacity will elioit something worth knowing out of every person with whom he cod verses. XII Mon write their wrongs in marble ; He, more just,
Stooped down divine, and wrote His in the dust.
Falso names are vain,—thy lines their author tell ;
We pray with heart and soul.
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know ;
The bad must miss ; the good untaught will find.
Reason, the rudder, to direct and save. XVII. This without those obtains a vain employ;
Those without this but urge us to destroy.
Which in the virtuous mind doth all things conquer.
It lifts the saint to heaven.
QUESTIONS. — 115. What does Pronunciation include ? 116. Does colloquial pronun ciation ever differ from that used in reading the Scriptures or poetry ? Mention examples 117. What is Modulation ? 118. Emphasis ? What is the original meaning of Emphasis 119. To what may the misplacing of one's emphasis lead ? 121. What is necessary in order to emphasize expressively ?
125. WITH regard to the Inflections of the Voice, upon which so much has been said and written, there are in reality but two — the rising and the falling. The compound, or circumflex inflection, is merely that in which the voice both rises and falls on the same word — as in the utter ance of the word “ What,” when it is intended to convey an expression of disdain, reproach, or extreme surprise. The analysis of vocal inflection was first promulgated by Mr. John Walker, author of the dictionary bearing his name,
126. The inflections are not denominated rising or falling from the high or low tone in which they are pronounced, but from the upward or downward slide in which they terminate, whether pronounced in a high or low key. The rising inflection was marked by Mr. Walker with the acute accent ('); the falling, with the grave accent (°). The inflection mark of the acute accent must not be confounded with its use in accentuation.
127. In the utterance of the interrog'ative sentence, “ Does Cæsar deserve fame' or blame'?” the word fame will have the rising or upward slide of the voice, and blame the falling or downward slide of the voice. Every pause, of whatever kind, must necessarily adopt one of these two inflections, or continue in a monotone.
128. Thus it will be seen that the rising inflection is that upward turn of the voice which we use in asking a question answerable by a simple yes or no, and the falling inflection is that downward sliding of the voice which is commonly used at the end of a sentence. Lest an inaccurate ear should be led to suppose that the different signification of the opposing words is the reason of their sounding differently, we give below, among other examples, some phrases composed of the same words, which are nevertheless pronounced with exactly the same difference of inflection as the others.
The Falling followed by the Rising.
We should say ocean', not ocean'. 179. The rising progression in a sentence connects what has been said rith what is to be uttered, or with what the speaker wishes to be implied or supplied by the hearer ; and this with more or less closeness, queru. joustess, and passion, in proportion to the extent and force of the rise.
130. The falling progression disconnects what has been said from whatever may follow ; and this with more or less completeness, exclusive ness, and passion, in proportion to the force and extent of the fall.
131. The rising inflection is thus, invariably, associated with what is incomplete in sense ; or, if apparently complete, dependent on or modified
by what follows ; with whatever is relative to something expressed, or to be impLed; and with what is doubtful, interrogative or supplicatory.
132. The falling inflection, on the contrary, is invariably associated with what is complete and independent in sense, or intended to be received as such; with whatever is positive and exclusive ; and with what is confidently assertive, dogmatical or mandatory.
133. The rising inflection is thus, also, the natural intonation of all attractive sentiments ; of love, admiration, pity, &c.; as in the exclamations “ Beautiful! Alas'! Poor thing!” The falling inflection is the tone of repulsion, anger, hatred and reproach, as in the exclamations, “Go'! Fool'! Malediction'!”
134. A great number of rules are given by Mr. Walker and his followers for the inflecting of sentences or parts of sentences. To these rules there are many exceptions not enumerated by their framers. The rules, if used at all, must therefore be used with extreme caution, or they will mislead ; and the reader who undertakes to regulate his elocu. tion by them will, in many instances, fall into error. We give below the rules that are least liable to exception ; but even these must be received rather as hints to guide the reader, where he is in doubt, than rules to hold where his understanding dictates the intonation most in accordance with the sense and spirit of what he is reading. Marks of inflection, like marks of emphasis, may serve to illustrate a principle, as for instance the fact that there is a rising and falling inflection of the voice, and that the sense of a sentence often depends upon a correct emphasis and inflection. But the student who expects to attain a correct style of elocution by following inflection marks, rather than by studying the pith and catching the spirit of what he is to read, will be disappointed.
I. Where the sense is complete, whether at the termination of a sentence or of a part of a sentence, use the falling inflection.
II. When sentences are divisible into two parts, the commencing part is generally distinguished by the rising inflection.
III. Questions commencing with an adverb or pronoun, and which can. not be answered by a simple “yes” or “no," generally terminate with the falling infection.
IV. Questions commencing with a verb, and which can be answered by : simple “yes” or “no," generally terminate with the rising inflection.
V. When two or more questions in succession, the first beginning with a verb, are separated by the disjunctive particle or, the last question requires the falling, and the preceding ones the rising inflection.
VI. The general rule for the parenthesis (a Greek word signifying an inser. tion) is, that it must be pronounced in a lower tone and more rapidly than the rest of the sentence, and concluded with the inflection that immediately precedes it. A simile, being a species of parenthesis, follows the same rule.
VII. The title echo is adopted by Walker to express a repetition of a word or phrase. The echoing word is pronounood generally with the rising Inflection, followed by something of a pause