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and this pretended revelation be all a fable; from belie ́ving it what harm" could ensue ? would it render princes more tyra'nnical, or subjects more ungo"vernable, the ri'ch more in ́solent, or the po or more disor"derly? would it make worse parents or chil'dren, hus`bands or wives", masters or servants, frien`ds or neighbours? or', would it not make men more virtuous, and, co'nsequently, more happy/ in every-situation ?"
THE expression of passion or emotion, consists in giving a distinct and specific quality to the sounds we use, rather than increasing or diminishing their quality, or in giving this quality any local direction upwards or downwards. The inflexions the
exclamation requires, are exactly the same as the rest of the points; that is, if the exclamation point is placed after a member that would have the rising inflexion in another sentence, it ought to have the rising in this; if, after a member that would have the falling inflexion, the exclamation ought to have the falling inflexion likewise; or, if exclamation is mingled with a question, it requires the same inflexion the question would require, unless the question with the interrogative word is an echo of another question of the same kind, which, in this case, always requires the rising inflexion.
"How many app'arent misfortunes/ have saved a man/ from ruin" !"
"How blessed is the ma'n/ who puts his tru'st/ in God" !” "How calamitous are the con'sequences of sin" !"
An instance that the exclamation may be mixed with interrogations of both kinds, may be seen in the following speech of Gracchus, quoted by Cicero.
"Whither shall I turn"? wretch that I am"! place shall I betake" myself? Shall I go to the Capitol ? alas! it is overflow'ed/ with my brother's blood"! or shall I retire to my house"? yet there I behold my mother plunged in m'isery, wee'ping and despair"ing !"
When the exclamation comes immediately after a question, and as it were repeats it, the repeated question, which is really an exclamation, assumes the rising inflexion.
"Will you for e'ver, Athenians, do nothing but walk up and down the city, asking o'ne another, What news"? What news"? Is there any thing more new/ than to see a man of Macedonia/become master of the Athenians, and give laws to all Greece" ?"
A parenthesis must be generally pronounced both quicker and in a lower tone of voice than the rest of the sentence,assuming a kind of monotone, and conclude with the same pause and inflexion which terminate the member that immediately precedes it. If the sense be suspended, and consequently incomplete, the parenthesis must terminate with the rising inflexion; but where it makes a portion of perfect sense, or concludes a sentence, which does not often happen, the falling inflexion must be adopted.
Examples that require the Rising Inflexion.
"Notwithstanding all this care of Ci'cero, history informs us that Mar'cus/ proved a mere bloc'khead; and that na"ture (who it seems was even with the so'n/ for her prodigality to the father) rendered him incapable of improving, by all the rules of elo"quence, the pre'cepts of philosophy, his own endea"vours, and the most refined conversation in Athens."
"My firm belief in the Holy Gospel/ is by no means owing to the prejudices of education, (though I was religiously educated by the be'st of parents,) but arises from the fullest and most continued reflections of my riper ye'ars/ and understan'ding :-It forms/ at this moment/ the great consolation of my life, wh'ich, (as a shadow,) must pass awa'y, and, without it, indeed, I should consider my long course of health and prosper'ity (perhaps too long and too uninterrupted to be good for "any-man) only as the du'st/ which the wind sca'tters, and rather as a sna're/ than as a ble'ssing."
Examples that require the Falling Inflexion.
"Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence; (for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned ;) an'd/ when they had brought-them, they set them before the council."
A man who uses his be'st-endeavours/ to live according to the dictates of virtue and right-reason, has two perpetual sou'rces of cheerfulness; (in the consideration of his ownnature, and of that-Being on whom he has a depen"dance.)"
Note. Should the parenthesis terminate with an emphatical word, the falling inflexion must be adopted; and when it extends to a considerable length, or requires solemnity, it may be pronounced with a sameness of voice approaching monotony.
The small intervening members, said I, said he, continued they, &c. uniformly require the inflexion and pause of the member which precedes them; but in a somewhat higher and feebler tone of voice.
Is that stress we lay on words, which are in contradistinction to other words, either expressed or understood. And hence will follow this general rule: that wherever there is contradistinction in the sense of words, there ought to be emphasis in the pronunciation of them.
Emphasis always implies antithesis;-where the antithesis is agreeable to the sense of the author, the emphasis is proper; but where there is no antithesis in the thought, there ought to be none on the words; because, wherever an emphasis is placed upon an improper word, it will suggest an antithesis which either does not exist, or is not agreeable to the sense and intention of the writer.
In antithetical sentences, where the emphatical words are two only, the emphasis is said to be SINGLE, and admits of the following rule:
When a sentence is composed of a positive and negative member, the positive requires the falling, and the negative the rising inflexion.
1. "I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him."
2. “You were paid to fight against Alexander, and not to rail' at him."
3. "It is our duty to respect the precepts of the Gospel, and not to trifle with them.'
4. "None more impatiently suffer injuries, than they who are most forward in do'ing them.'
Note. When two objects are compared, or when it is the intention of the speaker to declare with emphasis the priority or preferableness of one thing to another, the comparative word has the strong emphasis and falling inflexion, and the word compared has the weak emphasis and rising inflexion.
1. "It is a custom
More honoured in the breach/ than the observ'ance." 2. "He is more knave/ than fool."
When two words are in contradistinction, and contrasted with two other words, the emphasis is called DOUBLE, and requires the falling inflexion on the first emphatic word, the rising on the second and third, and the falling on the fourth. EXAMPLES.
1. "To err is hu'man; to forgive divine'."
2. "The prodigal/ robs his heir', the mi'ser/ robs himself." 3. " Prosperity gains' friends, and adversity/ tries' them." 4. "One'-murder/ makes a villain,
Millions a hero'."
When three emphatic words are contradistinguished to three others, the emphasis is denominated TREBLE, and requires, on the first three, the rising, falling, and rising inflexion ; on the last three, the falling, rising, and falling inflexion.
1. Mirth is short and tran'sient, cheerfulness/ fix'ed and permanent."
2. "She' in her girls/ again is courted I go a woo'ing with my boys'."
3. "A friend/ cannot be known in prosperity; and an en'emy cannot be hidden in adver`sity.'
Note.-The treble emphasis, in the two following examples, though not expressed, is, in Mr. Walker's opinion, clearly implied.
1. "To reign is worth ambition, though in hell;
Better to reign' in he'll than serve/ in hea`ven.”* 2. "I would rather be the first man in that village than the second in Rome."
When composition is animated, and the period draws to a close, it is frequently necessary to lay the emphasis upon several successive words.
"What M'EN could do,
Is done already; heaven and earth will witness,
PRONOUNS, either personal or adjective, when antecedents, require an accentual force, to intimate that the relative is in view, and in some measure to anticipate the pronunciation of it.
1. " He that pursues fame with just claims, trusts his happiness to the winds; but he/ that endeavours after fame by false merit, has to fear, not only the violence of the storm, but the leaks of his ve'ssel."
2. "The weakest reasoners/ are always the most positive in deb ́ate; and the ca'use is obvious; for they are unavoidably driven to maintain their pretensions by violence, who want arguments and reasons to prove that they are in the right."
* Though the manner of reading this emphatic couplet as here inflected, has, along with Mr. Walker's, the powerful recommendation of GARRICK's approval; nevertheless, I would humbly submit, as the conjunction " than" imparts to the sentence a decidedly negative character, and consequently suggests the propriety of ending it with the rising circumflex, that the period should terminate thus :— "Better to rei'gn in he'll than serve in heaven !"—ED.