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perfons read with an improper emphasis, or with no emphasis at all, that is, with a stupid monotony. Much ftudy and pains are neceffary in acquiring the habit of just and forcible pronunciation; and it can only be the effect of close attention and long practice, to be able, with a mere glance of the eye, to read any piece with good emphafis and good difcretion.
It is another office of Emphafis to exprefs the oppofition between the several parts of a fentence, where the style is pointed and antithetical. Pope's Effay on Man, and his Moral Effays, and the Proverbs of Solomon, will furnish many proper exercises in this fpecies of speaking. In fome sentences the antithefis is double, and even treble; thefe must be expreffed in reading, by a very diftinct emphasis on each part of the oppofition. The following inftances are of this kind:
ANGER may glance into the breast of a wise man; but refts only in the bofom of fools.
An angry man who fuppreffes his paffion, thinks worse than he speaks: and an angry man that will chide, speaks worfe than he thinks.
BETTER to reign in hell, than ferve in heaven.
He rais'd a mortal to the skies
EMPHASIS likewife ferves to exprefs fome particular meaning not immediately arifing from the words, but depending upon the intention of the speaker, or some incidental circumftance. The following fhort fentence may have three different meanings, according to the different place of the Emphasis: Do you intend to go to London this fummer?
In order to acquire a habit of fpeaking with a just and forcible emphafis, nothing more is neceffary, than previously to ftudy the conftruction, meaning, and spirit of every sentence, and to adhere as nearly as poffible to the manner in which we diftinguish one word from another in conversation; for in familiar difcourfe we fcarcely ever fail to exprefs ourfelves emphatically, and feldom place the emphafis improperly. With refpect to artificial helps, fuch as distinguishing words or claufes of fentences by particular characters or marks; I believe it will always be found, upon trial, that they miflead inftead of affift the reader, by not leaving him at full liberty to follow his own understanding and feelings.
THE most common faults refpecting emphasis are, laying so strong an emphasis on one word as to leave no power of giving a particular force to other words, which, though not equally, are in a certain degree emphatical; and placing the greateft stress on conjunctive particles, and other words of fecondary importance. Thefe faults are ftrongly characterised in Churchill's cenfure of Moffop.
WITH ftudied improprieties of fpeech
He foars beyond the hackney critic's reach.
In monofyllables his thunders roll,
EMPHASIS is often deftroyed by an injudicious attempt to read melodiously. Agreeable inflexions and easy variations of the voice, as far as they arife from, or are confiftent with juft speaking, are deferving of attention. But to fubftitute one unmeaning tune, in the room of all the proprieties and graces of good elocution, and then to applaud this manner, under the appellation of mufical
speaking, can only be the effect of great ignorance and inattention, or of a depraved tafte. If public speaking must be musical, let the words be fet to mufic in recitative, that these melodious speakers may no longer lie open to the sarcasm; Do you read or fing? if you fing, you fing very ill. Seriously, it is much to be wondered at, that this kind of reading, which has fo little merit confidered as music, and none at all considered as fpeaking, fhould be fo ftudiously practised by many speakers, and fo much admired by many hearers. Can a method of reading, which is fo entirely different from the usual manner of conversation, be natural and right? Is it poffible that all the varieties of fentiment, which a public speaker has occafion to introduce, should be properly expreffed by one melodious tone and cadence, employed alike on all occafions and for all purposes?
Acquire a just variety of Pause and Cadence.
NE of the worft faults a speaker can have, is to make no other paufes than what he finds barely neceffary for breathing. I know of
nothing that fuch a speaker can fo properly be compared to, as an alarum-bell, which, when once fet a-going, clatters on till the weight that moves it is run down. Without pauses, the fense must always appear confused and obfcure, and often be misunderstood; and the spirit and energy of the piece must be wholly loft.
IN executing this part of the office of a speaker, it will by no means be fufficient to attend to the points used in printing; for thefe are far from marking all the pauses which ought to be made in speaking. A mechanical attention to these resting-places has perhaps been one chief cause of monotony, by leading the reader to a uniform found at every imperfect break, and a uniform cadence at every full period. The use of points is to affift the reader in difcerning the grammatical conftruction, not to direct his pronunciation. In reading, it may often be proper to make a paufe where the printer has made none. Nay, it is very allowable for the fake of pointing out the fenfe more ftrongly, preparing the audience for what is to follow, or enabling the speaker to alter the tone or height of the voice, fometimes to make a very