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DOWNWARD INFLECTIONS—THE CLOSES.
The closes are two, the perfect and the partial.
The perfect close is a fall of the voice to the fundamental (or key) note, at the end of a sentence.
It needs no mark but the period.
The partial close (marked with the grave accent) is a fall of the voice to a point a little above that note, preparatory to the perfect close. Following are examples of both in connection : “The faults opposed to the sublime are chiefly two', the frigid and the bombast." “Before closing this, I wish to make one observation'; I shall make it once for all."
PERFECT CLOSE. The perfect close is used at the end of declarative sentences; as, “I have told you the truth.” "You live my friends, in an extraordinary age."
NOTE.—The closes come on words, the falling slide embraces a whole clause or sentence.
Imperative sentences are declarations, and follow the same rule; as, “ Drink, pretty creature, drink!” “Give me liberty or give me death !” “ Bring forth the horse,"?
NOTE.–Upon the last word of a sentence making complete sense, the voice should rise slightly before it falls; as, “The earth is round;” unless the special importance of a preceding word makes the perfect close a part of the wave of emphasis; as, “Old men are not always wise men.”
The exceptions to this rule are only apparent. For:
(1) A sentence declarative in form may be really an indirect interrogative, which requires the waving slide. “You could not foresee the reception you met with. No.” (See CHAP. VI, OBSERVATION 2, p. 61.)
(2) A declarative sentence which has apparently come to a close, may be so connected in sense with what follows as to be incorrectly punctuated with the period, and require to be delivered with the bend if there is near connection ; with the partial close if the connection is slight. The following examples consist each of two sentences, which are really one. The first division in each should be followed by the semicolon instead of the period. The first example is really a compact sentence (see CHAP. II, C, OBSERVATION 1, p. 17): [Though] “I admit that the evidence of this man's guilt must ensure his condemnation'. Yet we are to consider, and consider well, what we shall do with him after condemnation.” “It seemed impossible that any one of the innumerable keys could fit a churlish strongbox or a prison door! Store-houses of good things, rooms where there were fires, books, gossip and cheering laughter—these were their sphere of action.”
(3) A declarative sentence apparently complete may have a related sequel expressed or understood, and may, therefore, take a rising inflection; as, “I should know that form'.” Supply" because its proportions are familiar.” “Mr. C. That was not necessary to make out the libel. Judge B. Pretty near it, though'.” That is, pretty near it, though not absolutely.
The partial close is used :
(1) At the end of every part of a loose sentence (x, p. 13) except the last, which terminates, of course, with the perfect close; as, “Christianity came prepared for a gradual work',—to perform its labor as sunshine and moisture perform theirs', to bring its ideas to perfection among men, as the seed is brought forth to the harvest.?!
OBSERVATION 1.-These parts should be delivered with a gradual fall of the voice, looking toward the final close, except where the sentence is too long, in which case the middle part may be delivered in a tone nearly level, and the decadence contined to the first and the last.
OBSERVATION 2.—When the declarative part of a semi-interrogative or semi-exclamatory (VII, p. 12, NOTE) sentence forms with the rest a loose sentence, it terminates with the partial close, instead of the bend; as, “ We are at the point of a century from the birth of Washington'; and what a century it has been!” (See CHAP. II, b, NOTE 2, p. 17.) Where a noun or phrase standing by itself for the sake of emphasis, has no grammatical connection with the semiinterrogative or semi-exclamatory part, it is followed also by the partial close; as, “The boy', oh where was he?” "The baptism of John': was it from heaven, or of men ?”
(2) A parenthesis following a sentence, or a part of a sentence, making perfect sense, takes the partial or perfect close; as, “That man went to sea (and who could blame him'?), but he never came back.” “I will therefore chastise him, and release him (for of necessity he must release one of them at the feast).”
EXAMPLES FOR PRACTICE IN THE USE OF THE CLOSES.
Declarative Sentences, Ending with the Perfect Close. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
The outward, material world is the shadow of the spiritual.
A hardy, honest peasantry are the glory of an agricultural country.
Universities are a notable, respectable product of the modern ages.
The details of Mr. Clay's life have been eloquently given by the accomplished orator of the day.
Declaratives, Waving Slide. Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.
Surely, the Lord is in this place.
It is surely extraordinary that she should have alarmed me so much about your health, and sent me such precise instructions to take care of it.
You [surely] know the history of this man's enterprises: how his doings and observations were among the veriest outcasts of humanity ; how he descended into prison-houses, and there made himself familiar with all that could revolt or terrify in the exhibition of our fallen nature; how, for this purpose, he made the tour of Europe.
Declaratives, Bend or Partial Close. We should not bestow our faculties on a multitude of small and unimportant affairs. This is to waste them, without benefit to ourselves or to mankind. We should employ them in the pursuit of some great and good end.
If the means were in themselves bad, you would not say that the end justified them. Or if the means were good, you would not say that they justified all the results that might flow from them.
Declaratives, Bend. Amanda. He saw her and gave the letter. Maria. Well.*
* That is, Well', what then?
A. And when he got his answer, he returned.
It is easy to awaken generous sentiments in privacy; to despise death when there is no danger; to glow with benevolence when there is nothing to be given.
Pity me, Charmian;
Loose Sentences, given with the Partial and the Perfect Close.
I speak as to wise men: judge ye what I say.
Receive us: we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man.
History, as it has been written, is the genealogy of princes; the field-book of conquerors.
Loose Sentences, Gradual Fall. It is the glory of the world that He who formed it, dwelt on it; of the air, that He breathed in it; of the sun, that it shone on Him; of the ground, that it bore Him; of the sea, that He walked on it; of the elements,