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slight rise constitutes what is called the suspensive slide. It is often required on clauses that leave a thought incomplete.
XII. Inflections vary greatly in intensity, or in the number of degrees of the musical scale through which the voice passes in giving them. Much care is necessary in graduating the intensity of the inflection to the requirement of the thought.
XIII. It will be noticed that the inflection in any clause comes upon the emphatic word of that clause. Let this principle be fully tested.
XIV. A correct use of inflections is exceedingly important. An unskillful application of them often effectually conceals the meaning. “He does not hălf perform his work,” means that he performs it well. “He does not half perform his wòrk,” means that he does it very imperfectly.* “ Edward would run the greatest risks to please his făvorite.”. Here the circumflex implies that he would do very little to please others. The following is frequently quoted : “A man who is in the daily use of ardent spirits, if he does not become a drunkard, is in danger of losing his health and character.” The falling circumflex on “ drunkard” gives the correct meaning. The opposite declares that only by being a drunkard can one preserve his health and character. « The dog would have died if they had not cut off his head.” The rising circumflex on “ died ” makes good sense here. The opposite makes cutting off his head necessary to saving his life.
In endeavoring to escape monotony, many readers fall into the habit of excessive inflection, that is of frequent and sharp turns of the voice. Too much of this makes the reading harsh and angular.
EXAMPLES FOR PRACTICE, WITH EXPLANATION OF THEIR
RELATIONS IN TIIE COMPOSITIONS TO WHICH THEY BELONG. In 1775, an assembly of delegates convened at Richmond, Virginia, to consider the state of the country. The measures of the British government had been tyrannical. The country was determined to resist these measures. But there were some men in the assembly who so much desired to maintain peace, that they were willing to submit to the unjust exactions of the British ministry. Patrick Henry, the eloquent champion of liberty, answers their cowardly suggestions as follows.
The extract requires great force, radical stress, medium pitch, full volume, moderate speed, pure quality, and moderate pauses :
Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm that is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne !
Marmion, in Walter Scott's novel of that name, is an English nobleman of bad character, who is employed as a messenger to the Scottish King, just before the battle of Flodden, in 1513. King James IV., of Scotland, orders the Earl of Douglas, a high-spirited, brave, and impetuous nobleman of his own court, to receive Marmion as a guest during his stay in Scotland. The latter, on leaving, offers his hand to his host, which Douglas, knowing the character of the guest whom he has unwillingly entertained, indignantly refuses to accept, when the following dialogue takes place. The selection is like the above in kind, but higher in degree,the force is more intense, the stress more decidedly radical, the pitch higher, and the speed, in parts, more rapid. In those parts of the dialogue instinct with hate, the quality becomes impure. Angus was another title of Douglas. Pauses mostly short. Douglas is an historical character; Marmion is fictitious :
“My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation stone;
And,“ This to me!” he said;
The following spirited and indignant response to a Southern member of Congress who had spoken contemptuously of Northern laborers, charging them with being seditious, is an excellent example of great force. It is much like the extract from Patrick Henry. Moderate pauses:
The gentleman, Sir, has misconceived the spirit and tendency of Northern institutions. He is ignorant of Northern character. He has forgotten the history of his country. Preach insurrection to the Northern laborers ? Who are the Northern laborers? The history of your country is their history. The renown of your country is their renown. The brightness of their doings is emblazoned on its every page. Where is Concord, and Lexington, and Princeton, and Trenton, and Saratoga, and Bunker Hill, but in the North? And what, Sir, has shed an imperishable renown on the names of those hallowed spots, but the blood, and the struggles, the high daring, and patriotism, and sublime courage of Northern laborers? The whole North is an everlasting monument of the freedom, virtue, intelligence, and indomitable independence of Northern laborers. Go, Sir, go preach insurrection to men like these!
The poet Halleck, in his poem upon Marco Bozzaris, wishing to show that the death of his hero, which was on the battlefield while fighting for his country's freedom, was a happy one, enumerates, by way of contrast, the various conditions in which death would be terrible. The extract requires moderate force, slow speed, long pauses, low pitch, median stress, and, except the last four lines, pure tone:
Come to the bridal chamber,— Death!
I'rom this enumeration he passes to set forth the positive glory of his hero, when the pitch becomes higher, the speed more rapid, the tone purer, and the stress is rounded out into the full median:
But to the hero, when his sword
In Shakspeare's Julius Cæsar, Cassius, in a private interview with Brutus, endeavors to prepare the mind of the latter for the assassination of Cæsar, without distinctly proposing it. He strives to show that Cæsar, though now master of Rome and of the world, was deficient in those qualities so highly valued by the Romans,-physical courage and endurance, and the serene stoicism that never gave way under the most intense suffering or in the face of the most appalling danger. The extract requires a high degree of force, though not the highest, and contains examples of vanishing and compound stress; with impure tone, where contempt and kindred feelings are expressed. Pay special attention to emphases and inflections, and consult the principles laid down under these heads :
I cannot tell what you and other men