Page images
PDF
EPUB

2. Emphatic words may require any inflection, according to the sentiment of the piece, and the meaning of the word. .

3. It often happens that the important thought is contained in a group of words; and, when such is the fact, the group, and not any single word, should be made emphatic. To confine the emphasis to a single word in such cases, gives a bald and angular character to the reading. Successive words are frequently emphatic, each by itself. Examples: “The bank may break, the factory burn.“Thou art standing on thy legs, above ground, mummy.”

4. Many examples might be adduced to show that a misplacement of emphasis may entirely change the meaning of a sentence. Careful attention to it is therefore of the utmost importanoe.

“You must,” said he,
“Quit your sweet bride and come with me."
“With you!” the hapless husband cried !
“With you, and quit my Susan's side!

Young as I am,'tis monstrous hard !” If the word "am” is made emphatic with the falling inflection, the implication is, that it is less hard for young persons to die than for others. On the contrary, if the word “young” is emphasized, as it should be, the reverse is implied.

PAUSES. [ Under the head of Speed we may consider Pauses.] 1. Nothing is more efficient in giving expression to reading than a judicious use of the pause.

2. Group the words carefully, in respect to their meaning. This is a very important matter in narrative, didactic, or descriptive prose, as well as in poetry and in more rhetorical prose. To do this well, one must have a thorough mastery of the meaning of what is read. The eye must go in advance of the voice, and thus measure beforehand the sentences that are to be read.

[ocr errors]

ereum)

[ocr errors]

rowenouden tot onder what
ariely morjirush Mozullen

48 Se EDWARDS’s ‘SIXTH READER.
in defert clrcrrono ankeu.

- 3. Many pauses are required besides the grammatical ones,
and the length of the pause made by the voice at a comma
or a period is very different under different circumstances.
It is the function of the grammatical pauses to aid the reader
in ascertaining the meaning of what is read.

4. In ordinary, matter-of-fact productions, pauses are of moderate length.

In grave, sad, or pathetic pieces, the pauses are long.

In joyous, cheerful, stirring, or animated pieces, the pauses are short.

5. It is impossible to give rules that will guide the reader as to the details of every case. The shades of thought and feeling are so infinitely various, and the length of pauses depends upon so many conditions, that the best advice to .give the reader is, that he study carefully the meaning of what he reads, and watch the effect, on himself and on others, of pauses of different lengths.

6. After emphatic words, pauses are longer than after other words. Indeed, emphasis depends as much upon the pause as upon force. Of this fact we often lose sight.

7. Great care is required in reading poetry to make the pauses at the ends of the lines, of the proper length. On the one hand, the pupil must avoid a slavish sacrifice of the sense to the mere rhythm, which is shown by a strongly marked pause at the end of each line; and on the other hand, the poetry must not be read as if it were prose, but the lines must always be marked by some degree of pause, - long and distinct where the sense demands it, -slight and delicate where it does not.

8. Skillful changes in pitch can be made very effective in the grouping of words and clauses, and in indicating the subordination of one clause to another, or the contrary: Attention to this makes the reading clear and expressive. The third stanza, page 142, should be divided into groups distinguished by a difference of pitch. For the first group take the first four lines. At the beginning of the fifth line, let the pitch become a very little lower; this will, as it were,

detach the following from the preceding lines. A similar Ć change may be made on the ninth line, same stanza.

si

[ocr errors]

e

:

[ocr errors]

etireriigris
Li gor par, foursquare.com, 6455

Hul

INFLECTIONS. [Under Pitch we may consider Inflections.] STATE OF MIND IN WHICH THE READER MAY BE. I. He may feel sure of the truth of some proposition, and wish to declare it.

This declaration, though positive in character, may be either positive or negative in form.

But, in either case, the voice falls in uttering the proposition.

Examples : “Washington was a pàtriot.” “Men are not always wise.”

Positive command, demand, entreaty, and exhortation come under the same head. Examples : “ John, shut the door.” “I insist that this shall be done.” “Help me, Cassius, or I sink." "Be sõber, and hope to the end."

II. The reader may be in a doubtful or inquiring state of mind, and his speech may be an expression of such doubt or inquiry. This requires the rising inflection, or slide, and may take many forms.

i. Direct inquiry : as, “ Are you síck, Hubert ?

2. The expression of incredulity in regard to some statement made by another : as, “Twenty bears ! I think there were only ten."

3. The repetition of another's words that are not understood : as, “If you be out, I can mend you.” “ Ménd me,. thou saucy féllow ?

4. All parts of a statement preceding the positive point, that is the point in it at which the mind reaches the essence of the positive declaration : as,

“One day, at table, flushed with príde and wine,

His Honor, proudly freé, severely mérry,
Conceived it would be vastly fine
To crack a joke upon his secretary."

The positive statement here culminates in the word “ joke." "Secretary” had been previously spoken of. Joke is now first introduced.

5. The expression of a condition that may or may not be fulfilled, as: “If I talk to him he will awake my mèrcy.”

1.

[ocr errors]

i eliners nie!

piticilere, depotulo own which the finestron holthu Raminowanal

50

EDWARDS's SIXTH READER.

III. It will often require great care to determine whether the clause we are considering is essentially positive or negative. In doubtful cases, let the question be asked, whether the clause adds to, or takes away from, the force or extent of the main proposition. If the former, it is positive; if the latter, it is negative.

IV. Negative sentences require the rising inflection when the denial does not apply to the main verb, but to some adjunct; as,

“ Not as the conqueror comes,

They, the true-hearted, cáme." It is not intended here to deny that they came, but only that they came in that particular way, -as the conqueror comes. Such an inflection implies that the denial made would become an affirmation under different circumstances. If we substitute “humble worshipers " for “conqueror” in the above, the proposition, in order to be true, must become affirmative, They did come as humble worshipers. “It is not a hórse" implies that it is something else.

V. The inflection upon negative sentences is frequently changed by a repetition of the sentence for the sake of emphasis. Example: “John, are you going to tówn?") John does not hear, and the question is repeated : “Jòhn /are you going to town?“James, what do you see?” James himself repeats the inquiry, “What do I see?” “What doth the

poor man's son inherit ?" is asked at the beginning of the of fourth stanza of The Heritage, page 91. The same, repeated

in the subsequent stanzas, becomes, “ What does the poor my man's son inhérit?” a VI. In questions that may be answered by “yes” or “no”,

the mind is evidently in an inquiring state, as shown in II. (1); but in other questions, usually called indirect, the assertion in the main verb is taken for granted, and some condition only is in doubt. “Whence come wars?Here it is taken for granted that wars come, and the only question is as to their origin, - one of the conditions of their coming. Hence the main element in such questions is positive, and the voice falls upon them.

VII. Direct questions are often used to express a strong

affirmation, and when so used, are often spoken with the falla ing inflection. In a series of such questions, all after the

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

-* tion is just an appropriate t o the firs. The question. i giocated

a lza to merre Dresults arbreriese the different. ne penses,

WPANÁLYTICAL SERIES.

[ocr errors]

first have the falling inflection. For an example, take the
seventh paragraph, page 381.

VIII. The terms of an address in colloquial language should
have the rising inflection, because it is merely introductory,
and expresses no positive assertion or command. Formal
addresses, however, as in gravely addressing the presiding
officer of a deliberative assembly, — which is equivalent to
announcing an intention to speak, - require the falling
inflection. Examples : “ Jóhn, shall we go to school?
“ Friends and fellow-citizens : the hour has come.”

IX. Irony, mockery, words. used with a double meaning,
pity, &c., require the circumflex, or wave, which is a combi-
nation of both inflections. The circumflex is called the rising
or falling, according to its terminal element. The circumflex
beginning with the rising and ending with the falling inflec-
tion is called the falling circumflex, and the opposite is called
the rising, as “I've câught you then at lăst."
“ And though heavy to wěigh as a score of fat sheep,
He was not by any means heavy to sleep.”
“ If you said so, then I said sô."
“ They tell ús to be moderate, but they revel in profûsion.”
“And this man is now become a gôd.”

X. Clauses making concessions, and adversative clauses,
are negative in character, because their purpose is to take
away from the extent or force of the statement to which they
are attached. They usually require, therefore, the rising
inflection. “Cicero was ambitious, but he loved his country.
In this example, the statement,“ Cicero was ambitious," is a
concession and takes away from the general effect of the
sentence, the object of which is to speak well of Cicero.
This statement has, therefore, a negative character, and takes
the rising inflection. The Duke of Wellington is reported
to have said of the young men of London who were in his
army, “ They are foppish and frivolous, but the puppies fight
well.” The last clause, which is adversative, requires the
rising inflection. The Duke had, on the whole, a low opinion
of these Londoners, but their courage diminished his dislike.

XI. In speaking, we utter all words not requiring the falling inflection with a very slight rise at the end. This is the case even in what we call the monotone. In reading or speaking there is no absolute monotone; only in singing is

such monotone possible. Let this be carefully tested. This wdrich Ca 2270 Dy de FBI'

m o n , " sied laolt rahren canade

han ,

are corro

« PreviousContinue »