« AnteriorContinua »
timate clause of a sentence, so as to admit of a full descent at the period.
Example. "In epic poetry the English have only to boast of Spencer and Milton, who neither of them wanted either genius or learning to have been perfect poéts; and yet both of them are liable to many censures.
Exception. Abrupt and forcible language dispenses with this rule of harmony, and admits the falling inflection at a penultimate clause; thus, “ Uzziel ! half these draw off, and coast the south
With strictest watch; these other wheel the north ; Our circuit meets full wèst."
So also in concise and disconnected forms of expression:
“But the knowledge of nature is only half the business of a poet: he must be acquainted likewise with all the modes of life.”
The words included in a parenthesis, or between two dashes used as a parenthesis, and any phrase corresponding in effect to a parenthesis, are read with the same inflection as the clause immediately preceding them.
Note. A lower and less forcible tone, and a more rapid utterance, than in the other parts of a sentence, together with a degree of monotony, are required in the reading of a parenthesis. - The form of parenthesis implies something thrown in as an interruption of the main thought in a sentence. Hence its suppressed and hurried tone; the voice seeming to hasten over it slightly, as if impatient to resume the principal object. The same remark applies, with more or less force, to all intervening phrases, whether in the exact form of parenthesis, or not.
Examples. "Uprightness is a habit, and, like all other habits, gains strength by time and exercise. If then we exercise upright principles, (and we cannot have them, unless we exercise them, they must be perpetually on the increase."
“ Now I will come unto you, when I pass through Macedònia, (for I dò pass through Macedonia ;) and it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with
“And thís,” said he,-putting the remains of a crust into his wallet, and this should have been thý portion,” sàid he, “hadst thou been alive to have shared it with me.”
E.cceptions occur when a parenthesis closes with an emphatic word; thus, "If you, Eschines, in particular, were thus persuaded; (and it was no partial affection for me that prompted you to give me up the hopes, the applause, the honours, which attended the course I then advised, but the superior force of truth, and your utter inability to point out any more eligible course;) if this was the case, I say, is it not highly cruel and unjust to arraign those measures now,
when you could not then propose any better ?”
RULE ON THE CIRCUMFLEX.
The tone of irony, of equivocal meaning, or of peculiar significance, requires the circumflex, The falling circumflex, in such cases, takes the usual place of the simple falling inflection, and the rising circumflex that of the simple rising inflection; the object of this peculiar double turn of voice, being to give a double value to the force of emphasis, and the effect of the slide.
The hoarded plague o’the gods requite your love!” Equivocal meaning, or pun: “Upon this, the
weights, who had never been accused of light con-
- They chose their magistrate :
Than ever frown'd in Greece !" “ Let any man resolve to do right now, leaving thěn to do as it can; and if he were to live to the age of Methuselah, he would never do wrong."
RULE ON THE MONOTONE.
The tones of sublime or grand description, of reverence and awe, of horror and amazement, require the monotone:
All her original brightness, nor appear'd
prefer, Before all tēmples, the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou knowest:''. Awe: “The thoughts are strange that crowd into my
brain While I gāze ūpward to thee.-It would seem As though Göd pour'd thee from his höllow hand, And spāke in thāt loud voice which seem'd to him Who dwelt in Patmos, for his Sāviour's sake, The sound of many waters, and hād bīd Thy flood to chronicle the ages back, And notch his centuries in the eternal rock."
Horror: “I had a dream which was not all a dream:
The bright sun was extinguish'd; and the stars
Swūng blind and blackening in the moonless air;"Amazement : “What may this mean,
Thāt thou dead corse, again, in complete steel,
ERRORS IN INFLECTION.
The common errors in inflection, are the following: 1st, too frequent repetition of the rising inflection; thus,
“As we perceive the shadow to have moved, but did not perceive its moving; so our advances in leárning, consisting of insensible stéps, are only perceivable by the distance.”'
The puerile and feeble tone thus given to the above sentence, will be corrected by substituting the falling inflection on the words 'moved' and 'learning,' which produces a natural and spirited variety of expression.
2. The opposite error is not uncommon—that of using too often the falling inflection, which gives reading a formal and laboured tone; thus,
“As we perceive the shadow to have moved, but did not perceive its mòving; so the advances we make in learning, consisting of insensible steps, are only perceivable by the distance.”
The heavy effect of this reading will be removed by using the rising inflection at 'moving' and 'steps.'
* The principle of the monotone seems to be founded on the conviction that no mere vocal distinction, or turn of sound, is adequate to express the highest conceptions or the profoundest emotions of the soul. The monotone indicates, as it were, the temporary inability of the voice for its usual' function. This very circumstance, however, as it ultimately associates sublimity or unwonted excitement, with the utterance of one reiterated note, gives the monotone a peculiar and indescribable power.
3. A third error consists in omitting the contrasts of inflection in antithesis : thus,
“Life is short, and art is lòng."
“Homer was the greater génius, Virgil the better àrtist."
This fault destroys the spirit of the contrast; the effect of which depends entirely on giving opposite inflections to the words 'short' and 'long,' genius' and 'artist.' The more sharply these inflections are pointed against each other, the more vivid becomes the contrast in the sense.
4. A fourth error is that of drawing up the voice to a note unnecessarily high, in the rising inflection, and consequently of sinking equally low, on the falling inflection.
The fault thus created is that of an artificial and mechanical style of reading, constituting the chief difference between formal tones and those which are natural. This defect may be exemplified by reading the following sentences with the tones of question and answer, at the places which are designated by the rising and falling inflections.
"As the beauty of the body always accompanies the health of it, (?) so is decency of behaviour à concomitant of vìrtue.”
“Formed to excel in peace as well as in war, (?) Cæsar possessed many great and noble qualities.
This fault would be removed by substituting, for the excessive rising slide, the moderate inflection of suspended sense, which rises but little above the current level of the voice; as may be observed by contrasting the artificial slides of what is sometime stigmatized as a 'reading' tone, with the natural and easy turns of conversation.
5. A fault still more objectionable than any that has been mentioned, is that of using the circumflex instead of the simple inflecions, especially in contrasts.
This error is exemplified in the peculiar local accent