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been erroneously supposed that the distinction of emphasis necessarily belongs to single words; but the fact is, that emphasis (properly so called) belongs to the ideas; and whether the substantive idea be expressed by a simple or a compound name, the whole name of that idea must bear the equal impress of that emphasis : thus, in the famous reply of the first William Pitt to Mr. Walpole,
“ But youth, it seems, is not my only crime; I have been accused of acting a theatrical part;"
neither the word acting, nor the word theatrical, nor the word part, taken separately, designates the gist of the accusation, or constitutes the name of the idea included in the accusation, but the whole latter part of the sentence“ I have been accused”-(of what ?)-of acting a théatrical part. These words constitute the compound name of the indivisible accusatory
from generation to generation. To the eminent scholars who preside over those distinguished seats of learning, it is most respectfully suggested, that this peculiar terminational inflection is very different from that which they themselves adopt in earnest and serious conversation ; that it is contrary to the rules which professed writers on Elocution have deduced from a close observation of general usage in society which is not infected by the classical chant; and lastly, that it is contrary to the practice of all eminent actors from the time of Garrick to the present day.
idea, and must receive throughout an equal portion of objective emphasis. Not that the syllables are thereby to be rendered equally forcible, or to be otherwise reduced to one monotonous level. They are only to receive one common superaddition of emphatic force; and as independently of such superaddition, they would have differed among themselves, in pause, quantity, accent (inflection), and grammatical or inherent force; in all those particulars they will still continue to differ *.”
RULE XXIII. TRANSPOSITION OF ACCENT.
A transposition of accent is required when two words which have a sameness in part of their formation, are intended to be opposed to each other in sense :
1. What is done, cannot be undone.
2. There is a material difference between giving and forgiving
3. Are not my ways équal ? Are not your ways unequal ?
When no opposition is intended, no change of accent should be made, although the words may be near to each other. In the Lord's Prayer, the words give and forgive, though
• From Rees's Cyclopædia, as quoted in Grant's Grammar of the English Language, p. 374.
they occur in successive sentences, are not used in contradistinction ; therefore no change of accent is required in the word “forgive.'
· GENERAL EMPHASIS.
RULE XXIV. When great earnestness is intended to be expressed, several successive words, even some that are otherwise insignificant, may receive considerable stress. This is styled General Emphasis * Thus, in the following sentence,
“ The very man whom he had loaded with favours, was the first to accuse him,"
a stress upon the word man will give considerable force to the sentence—the very man, &c. If, besides the stress on this word, we give one to the word very, the force will be considerably increased—the very man, &c. But if we likewise give a stress to the word the, the emphasis will then attain its utmost pitch, and be emphatic in the superlative degree,
Thé very màn, whom he had loaded with favours, was the first to accuse him.
* Walker remarks, that General Emphasis has identity for its object; the antithesis to which is appearance, similitude, or the least possible diversity. Elements of Elocution, p. 212.
THE CONTINUATIVE INFLECTION.
Rule XXV. A word or phrase which is pre-understood as the subject of what is spoken, or which has actually been mentioned before, is included under the inflection of the preceding word, gradually ascending or descending, and becoming more and more feeble.
Must we, in your person, cro“wn the author of the public calamities, or must we destroy him?
In this sentence, the author of the public calamities' is pre-understood to be the person to be spoken of; whilst the principal object of the sentence is to propose the alternative of crowning or of destroying him. The suspensive slide on crown' would be extended over the subsequent phrase, “the author of the public calamities,' but becoming gradually higher and feebler. If the delivery is required to be very forcible, a pause may be introduced afetr the word 'crown,' and the inflections on the words“ author,' public,' and calamities,' might become distinctly perceptible as repetitions of the principal inflection, though in a weaker and higher note.
.. EXAMPLE 2. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Madam, you have-my-fàther-much-off-ended.
The phrase connected by hyphens is preunderstood, because it was used in the preceding line; therefore it passes under the strong emphasis which is given to you. In a slow and solemn delivery, a pause would be introduced after you, and the remainder of the line would be pronounced in an under tone, but with a repetition of the downward slide distinctly perceptible on father, much, and offended.
EXAMPLE 3. Jonathan loved David as his own soul. And Jonathan made a covenant-with-David, becaùse-he-loved-him-as-his-own-soul.
Here the rule is exemplified both after the word 'covenant,' and after “because;' the phrases which follow each of those words have been mentioned before, and therefore are included under the preceding inflection :
EXAMPLE 4. Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel ? And he answered, I'-have-nottroubled-Israel; but thoù and thy father's house. 1 Kings xviii. 17, 18.
“ One very great feature of significant reading, probably the greatest, is the distinguishing of primary information from what is pre-understood, and therefore secondary. The subjects