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prolonged, than other words. Sometimes this is on account of the absolute importance of the thought, considered by itself; and sometimes on account of some relation that subsists between it and another thought. Examples of the first: "I assure you that the charge is false." is the great object of life is to form a true character." Here the words “false” and “true character” express thoughts in themselves important, and ought, on that account, to be read with more force than the other parts of the sentences. Examples of the second : “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Were it not for the relation of "mote” to “beam” and of “brother” to “own," none of these words would require any unusual degree of force. This mode of distinguishing words by loudness and length of sound is called Emphasis.
2. Emphatic words may require any inflection, accord. ing 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.” Here the words « bank," “ break," "factory,'' “burn”; and the phrases “on thy legs,” and “above ground,” require each a separate emphasis
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 importance.
“ You must,” said he,
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.
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.
3. Pauses are often required where there are no marks to indicate them, 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 they 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.
[ Under Pitch we may consider Inflections.]
STATE OF MIND IN WIIICH 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 cither 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 sòber, 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.
1. 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 pride and wine,
To crack a jöke upon his secretary.”
5. The expression of a condition that may or may not be fulfilled : as, “If I talk to him he will awake my
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
fórce or extent of the main proposition. If the former, it is positive; if the latter, it is negative.
'IV. Négative 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 horse” 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 sée ?”
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 wårs ?” 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 falling inflection. In a series of such questions, all after the first have the falling inflection. . 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,-re
quire 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 combination 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 inflection, is called the falling circumflex, and the opposite is called the rising: as," I've caught you then at låst.” “ And though heavy to weigh 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 ŭs to be moderate, but they revel in profùsion." “ And this man is now become a god.”
· 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 infection. 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 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.