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This emphasis on the former word implies, “ Not only are you liable to do wrong, but you have done so already ;" on the latter it implies, “though you are not sorry, you ought to be sorry." This was precisely the meaning of Brutus, for he replied to a threat of Cassius, “ I may do that I shall be sorry for.”

One more example from the same source. Marullus, alluding to the reverence in which Pompey had been held, says,

And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made a universal 'shout ?

Lay a stress now on his in the first line, and


make a contrast betwixt the emotion felt in seeing other chariots, and in seeing Pompey's. Lay the stress on chariot, and it is not implied that there was any other besides his in Rome ; for then the antithesis suggested is, the sight, not of his person mereły, but of the vehicle in which he rode, produced a shout.

22] Sect. 2.--Emphatic Inflection..

Thus far our view of emphasis has been limited to the degree of stress, with which emphatic words are spoken. But this is only a part of the subject. The kind of stress is not less important to the sense than the degree. Let any one glance his eye over the examples of the foregoing pages, and he will see that strong emphasis demands, in all cases, an appropriate inflection, and that to change this inflection perverts the sense. This will be perceived at once in the following case, “We must take heed not only to what we say, but to what we do.By changing

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this slide, and laying the falling on say, and the rising on do, every ear must feel that violence is done to the meaning. So in this case,

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stárs,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings, the rising inflection or circumflex on stars and the falling inflection on ourselves is so indispensable, that no reader of the least taste would mistake the one for the other. The fact in these instances however is, that wrong inflection confounds the true sense, rather than expresses a false

Let us then take an example or two in which the whole meaning of a sentence depends on the inflection given to a single word. Buchanan, while at the University, said, in a letter to Christian friend,

In the retirement of a college, I am unable to suppress evil thoughts. Here the emphatic downward slide being given to college, expresses the true sense, namely, “How difficult must it be to keep my heart from evil thoughts amid the temptations of the world ; when I cannot do this even in the retirement of a college But lay the circumflex on college, thus; “In the retirement of a college, I cannot suppress evil thoughts ;" and you transform the meaning to this, “I cannot suppress evil thoughts here, in retirement, though I might perhaps do it amid the temptations of the world.” In the Fair Penitent, Horatio says,

I would not turn aside from my least pleasure,

Though all thy force were arm'd to bar my way. The circumflex on thy implies sneer and scorn. “I might turn aside for respectable opposition, but not for such as thğne.” But the falling slide on thy turns contempt into compliment. “I would not turn aside even for thy force, great as it is.”

One more question remains to be answered; how shall we know when an emphatic word demands the rising, and when the falling inflection ?

A brief reply to this inquiry seems indispensable, before we drop this part of the subject.

On this point, the "grand distinction” of Walker, as he calls it, is ;--" The falling inflection affirms something in the emphasis, and denies what is opposed to it in the antithesis ; while the emphasis with the rising inflection, affirms something in the emphasis, without denying what is opposed to it in the antithesis.

I have always considered it a great infelicity that the many excellent remarks of this writer on emphatic inflection, are so destitute of intelligible classification. On his theory, which makes antithesis essential to emphasis, universally, and antithesis too by affirmation and negation,the amount of more than twenty pages, designed to illustrate the above position, is simply this ;-When affirmation is opposed to negation, the emphatic word or clause which affirms, has the falling inflection, and that which denies, the rising. This is so plainly an elementary principle of vocal inflection, as I have shown [7] p. 49, that it requires no farther remark, except this one, that the case here supposed implies strong, positive affirmation.

But the ingenious writer above named perceived that there was still something to be explained about a part of this subject; and therefore extended his canon concern

ing the emphasis with the rising inflection by saying, “ that it affirms something in the emphasis without denying what is opposed to it in the antithesis.” That the illustration of this point should be dark to his readers is not strange, since it evidently was so to himself. The first step he takes is to give an example, which unfortunately contradicts the theory it was designed to establish.

'Twas base and poor, unworthy of a mán,

To forge a scroll so villanous and loose. His commentary on this emphasis is—“Unworthy of man, though not unworthy of a brute.” In repeating this, most certainly I both affirm and deny. I affirm that a certain act is unworthy of a man, and deny that it is unworthy of a brute.

What then becomes of the rule just stated ?

Besides, if the rising emphatic inflection affirms on one side, without denying on the other, what becomes of the antithesis ?--and what becomes of the broad position, that without antithesis there can be no emphasis ? The truth is that this position being erroneous, the “ intricacies of distinction" resulting from it are needless. One who is familiar with the simple rules of inflection, can seldom mistake as to the proper slide on an emphatic word. The voice instinctively accompanies emphatic, positive affirmation with the falling slide, and the antithetic negation with the rising.

But there is a large class of sentences, in which qualified affirmation demands the rising turn of voice, often where an antithetic object is suggested or expressed hypothetically. Having seen no satisfactory explanation of the rising emphasis which occurs in such cases, I will briefly suggest my own thoughts on this point. And it should be premised that it is not the simple rising slide, but the circumflex, which designates this sort of emphasis. The two, indeed, as I have said before, may fall on shades of thought so nearly the same, that it is immaterial which is used; while in other cases the office of the circumflex is so peculiar as to make it quite perceptible to an ear of any discrimination. In examples like the following ;

We should seek to mènd our faults, not hide them. You were paid to fight against Alexander, not to rail at him; it has been usual to mark the rising emphasis with the simple slide upwards; whereas in unaffected conversation the twist of the circumflex is generally heard in such


With this preliminary remark, I proceed to say, that the plain distinction between the rising and the falling emphasis, when antithetic relation is expressed or suggested, is, the falling denotes positive affirmation, or enunciation of a thought with energy ; the rising either expresses negation, or qualified and conditional affirmation. In the latter case the antithetic object, if there is one, may be suggested ironically, or hypothetically, or comparatively; thus-Ironically;

They tell us to be moderate ; but thěy, thěy are to revel in profu.


Hypothetically; If men see our faults, they will talk among themsěldes, though we refuse to let them talk to us.

I see thou hast learn'd to răil.

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