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* See I 20” simply means see paragraph twenty. The sign (T) is some times used merely as a mark of reference, like an asterisk.
149. The Section ($) denotes the division of a discourse or chapter into inferior portions. The Index, or Hand (2 ), points out a passage to which it is desired to direct especial attention. Three stars, placed in this form (***), or N. B., the initials of nola benë, “ mark well,” are sometimes used for the same purpose as the index. The Asterisk (*), the Obelisk or Dagger (t), the Double Dagger (), and Parallels (ll), together with letters or figures of a small size, technically called Superiors, are marks of reference to the margin, or some other part of a book.
150. The Brace( ) is used to connect a number of words with one common term. The Caret W) (from a Latin word, meaning it is want ing) is used exclusively in manuscript, to indicate something interlined. The Cedilla is a mark used under the French c, thus (ş), to signify that it is to be pronounced soft, like s.
151. There are three accentual marks. The mark of the acute accent is ('), and may be remembered by its pointing down towards you, as if to pierce. The mark of the grave accent is ('); the mark of the circumflex, which is a compound of the other two, is (^).
152. The acute accent is used in English sometimes as a mark of accent, and sometimes of quantity, and sometimes in place of the Diwresis. The grave accent and the circumflex are little used in English ; and they are employed in French to denote a difference in the pronunciation, not in the accent.
153. In regard to the use of Capital Letters, authors exhibit much the same caprice that they do in punctuation. Formerly initial capital letters were much more used than now in distinguishing nouns. In German, nouns are still generally distinguished in this wayWordsworth and many other English writers commence their emphatic nouns with capital letters. It is the present approved custom to distinguish by initial capitals the first word of every sentence, of every line of poetry, and of every quotation and every example formally introduced ; also of every noun and principal word in the title of a book; as, “ Locke on the Human Understanding."
154. Initial capitals are also used to distinguish proper names and adjectives derived from them; titles of honor and distinction; common nouns personified; the pronoun I and the interjections 0, Ah, &c.; words used as the names of Deity, or to express his attributes; the personal pronouns he, his, and him, when referring to Deity in sentences where reference is at the same time made to any of his creatures in the same number and person; as, “ he loved his God, admired His wondrous works." Nouns and adjectives to which it is desired to give any particular promisence that may impress them especially on the reader's attention art frequently capitalized now by the best writers.
QUESTIONS.—136 What is Punctuation? 17. To what mode of punctuating does modern usage incline? 138. What is said of Grammatical Punctuation ? 139. What are the grammatical points ? 140. Enuinerate other points or marks. 141. What is the use of the Apostrophe? 142. The Hyphen! What mark is used to denote that a vowel is long? Short ? 143. What of marks of quotation! 14. Brackets? 145. The Diare. sis? 146. Two commas? 147. Marks of ellipsis? 148. A Paragraph ? 149. The Section? The Index? What other marks are there corresponding to the Index? What are the marks of reference ? 150. What is the Brace? The Caret? 151, 152. What are the accentual marks, and what their use? 153, 154. What is said of the use of Capital Letters?
ON READING POETRY.
155. VERSE is generally an adjunct of poetry, although there may be poetry without it. Poetry of the highest order may be found in the Book of Job and the Psalms of David. But, even when poetry has the form of prose, its diction at times falls into the metrical sweep and cadence, as if by a law which makes the inward harmony suggest the external. The objection has been made that the habit of reciting poetry is apt to lead to a monotonous manner. As well might it be said that a habit of dancing leads to a faulty gait in walking. By attending to the measure of verse alone, and disregarding the sense, a sing-song mode of utterance may be contracted ; but the judicious recitation of verse is admirably adapted to impart ease, flexibility and grace, to delivery.
156. Poetry is sometimes rendered in a slight degree more difficult than prose by the inversions or irregular arrangements of words, required by the measure. Were we, for instance, to express in prose the following couplet :
Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
it would run thus : “ Sing, O heavenly Goddess! the wrath of Achilles, the direful spring of unnumbered woes to Greece.” And this example is by no means one of the most remarkable instances of inversion that could be adduced.
157. Rules for inflecting the voice in the reading of verse, 2s well as of prose, are fallacious and prejudicial. No good reader was ever formed by them ; and no two good readers will be likely to mark the passages for inflection in a given poem precisely alike. Bad habits of reading are often formed by an unwarranted reliance on the accuracy of these rules.
158. There are, however, some few principles to which the student's attention should be directed ; not because they will certainly make him read well, but because, if he neglects them, he will undoubtedly read badly. The first and most important is, “ Be sure you understand what you read.” If you do not yourself conceive the sentiments of the author, it is utterly imposeible that you should give them expression. But, if you perfectly understand your author, you will know where to make the proper pauses, and lay the proper emphasis that the subject requires. 159. Take, for instance, the following couplet :
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blest. The last line, carelessly read, would be nearly nonsense ; or, if it had any meaning, it would be, that “man exists always for the enjoyment of happiness.” But the intention of the poet is, that “ man does not enjoy any present happiness, but always looks forward to future bliss." To express this meaning, the emphasis must be thrown on the words is and to be, and the line be read as if printed
Man never is, but always to be blest. 160. The next point to which the young reader's attention should be directed is the metrical structure of the verse. With this he should so far familiarize his ear that he can readily mark by a slight stress the accented syllables. Be careful in doing this not to fall into that sing-song habit which is so offensive. A good way to avoid it is to adhere to your habitual speaking voice ; you may thus, by a little practice, read poctry metrically, without converting it into a bad tune.
161. A single line of poetry is properly called a verse; two lines are called a couplet; four verses, of which the rhymes may or may not be alternate, are called a quatrain or stanza. The term stanza, which is of Italian origin and literally signifies a station or resting-place, is also used to designate any regularly recurring number of verses into which a poem may be divided.
162. Almost every verse admits of a pause in or near the middle, which pause is called the Cæsúra (from the Latin word Cado, I cut). The following mark (") is usually adopted to denote this pause. On its right disposition depends, in a great degree, the harmony of the verse. The Cesural pause may, but must not of necessity, coincide with a pause in the sense. It may take place after the fourth syllable ; as in
Pealed their first notes" to sound the march of Time. Or it may come after the fifth syllable ; as in
If Greece must perish," we thy will obey.
To Him who gives us all" I yield a part.
His food the fruits”, bis drink” the crystal well. 163. The introduction of semi-Cesural pauses frequently in sreases the melodious flow of the verse ; as
Warms' in the sun", refreshes' in the breeze,
Spreads' undivided", operates' unspent. 164. The Cæsural pauses, and the pauses at the end of each line, must be made by suspending, not dropping, the breath ; and they must be so short as not to cause any interruption in the sense.
165. In regard to the Parenthesis, the 6th rule under [154 giveg directions applicable to poetry as well as to prose, respecting the tone in which a parenthesis and a similë should be read.
166. The Ellipsis (from a Greek word signifying to leave or pass by) is, in Grammar, an omission of one or more words, which the reuler is supposed to recognize as understood ; as, “ There are who love the hunt," for “ There are those,' &c. ; “ The horse I role,” for “ The horse which I rode.” The Ellipsis is more used in poetry than in prose. An “ elliptical phrase " is one in which the Ellipsis is used.
167. In conclusion, we would say with Dr. Blair, merely extending his meaning from oratory or public speaking to school and family reading, that nothing is more neceseiry for those who would excel than “to cultivate habits of the several virtues, and to refine and improve all their moral feelings. Whenever these become dead or callous, they may be assured that they will read and speak with less power and less success.
168. “ The sentiments and dispositions particularly requisite for them to cultivate are the love of justice and order, and indignation at insolence and oppression ; the love of honesty and truth, and detestation of fraud, meanness, and corruption ; mignanimity of spirit; the love of liberty, of their country, and the publis; zeal for all great and noble designs, and reverence for all worthy and heroic characters. A cold and sceptical turn of mind is extremely adverse to eloquence, whether of reading or of speech ; and no less so is that cavilling disposition which takes pleasure .n depreciating what is great, and ridiculing what is generally admired.
169 “Such a disposition bespeaks one not very likely to excel in any thing, but least of all in oratory. A true orator should be a person of generous sentiments, of warm feelings, and of a mind turned towards the admiration of all those great and high objects which mankind are naturally formed to admire. Joined with the manly virtues, he should at the same time possess strong and tender sensibility to all the injuries, distresses and Borrows, of his fellow-creatures ; a heart that can readily enter into the circumstances of others, and can make their case his own.”
QUESTIONS. - 155. How is a sing-song habit of reading verse induced ? 156. What is one of the great peculiarities of petry? 157, 158. What is the first and most iinportant rule in realing? 159. Illustrate the importance of understanding what you read. 160. Mught the ear to be familiarized with the metrical structure of the verse you are reading. 161. What is a Verse ? a Couplet? a Qu train ? a Stanza ? 162. What is the Cæsura ? 163. How must the Cæsural and other pauses be made? 105, What is the rule in regard to the reading of a parenthesis? a simil? 187, 168. What, in the opinion of Dr. Blair i necessary for those Tho would excel in elocution ?
*** Small figures placed at the terminations of words in the following Erercises refer to Paragraphs in Part I., numbered with corresponding figures; the letters
similarly placed indicate that the words thus distinguished may be found in the Explanatory Inder at the end of the volume.
Pupils should be required to attend to these marks of reference, and to answer questions from the teacher upon the information thus pointed out. To enable them to do this, they should have an opportunity of reading to themselves every Exercise before reading any part of it aloud.
The names of the authors of pieces, although not designated by any mark of reference, will be found in the Explanatory Index.
I. — THE SILENT ACADEMY. 1. In Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt, there was a celebrated academy, one of the rules of which was as follows : " Members will meditate much, write little, and talk the least possible.” The institution was known as “The Silent Academy ;” and there was not a person of any literary distinction in Egypt who was not ambitious of belonging to it.
2. Akmed, a young Egyptian of great erudition and exquisite judgment, was the author of an admirable treatise, entitled “The Art of Brevity.” It was a masterpiece of condensation and precision, and he was laboring to compress it still more, when he learned, in his provincial seclusion, that there was a place vacant in the Silent Academy.
3. Although he had not yet completed his twenty-third year, and although a great number of competitors were intriguing for the vacant place, he went and presented himself as a candidate at the door of the celebrated academy. A crowd of gossiping loungers in the portico speedily gathered around the taciturn stranger, and plich him, all at once, with a multitude of ques.