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longing to that path. : He of course knows of such a path, but his whole soul, fixed upon the existence or non-existence of a guide to that path, forgets, as it were, for the moment, every other idea, and dwells emphatically on is—which, when once properly given, leads him, almost without an effort, to the downward slide.
It were easy to give other examples, but we must not forget the limits assigned to our Introduction. These, however, can satisfactorily account for such parts of sentences, taking, according to the sense, either the falling or the rising inflection—and, consequently, for the inconsistencies of the vague and unphilosophical rule which has too long imposed upon the literary world.
It is this view which puts an end to the mays, the mights, and the generallys, and which establishes our rule upon an invulnerable basis. It is this view which almost inclines us to pause here, and enjoy, at least for a moment, the pleasure derived from the simplicity of nature's works and nature's inventions—to dwell on the enchanting prospect which she, in the freedom, the liberality, and the kindness of her heart, has opened up for us ; which she, trampling under foot the niggardly conceptions of the miser, as well as the cold, the calculating, the measured benevolence of the selfish, bids all her children equally and heartily enjoy: but a prospect, to the enjoyment of which, she, it seems, has hitherto called, has hitherto bidden them in vain.
But farther. There are sentences, as we have remarked, which include both states-the question and answer,-of which we shall give examples. If man is a sinful being, he ought to think of the consequences of sin. The questioning part terminates with being; the inflection of which must depend on whether if is emphatic. If so, being must terminate with the falling slide. On the other hand, it will as positively assume the rising. If there is a judgment to come, what shall become of the wicked? In this example, come ends the questioning state. And here let us remark, the same consideration,-do we intend to impress upon ourselves or others, the idea of if?-meets us. Every other idea or word must give place to that on which we, or the writer, or the speaker, builds, so to speak, the whole structure. Hence, the falling inflection on come and being, on the supposition that we direct the mind to these ideas. Hence, the ease and the rapidity with which the other words of these and other questioning parts are uttered. Hence, the same emphatic stress, and precisely the same inflection will be given to if, as Walker and his followers apply to why the first word of the following questioning state, Why don't
you act the part of a wise man? This, according to their notions, is a question beginning with the inter- , rogative word why; which, say they, takes the falling inflection, because, forsooth, it is a why. Sin, which is the last word belonging to the answering state of the first example, adopts, in consistency with our rule, the falling slide. The second example furnishes us with a kind of answer in the state of a question—a question becoming an answer to the questioning part. In this sentence we may make what emphatic, which, on that account, requires the falling inflection. But if what surrenders its emphatic stress to wicked, we shall then have the rising inflection. We might here add one or two other instances of the questioning part, in a measure answered by words in a similar state. Notice the following:
But, whatever be the external evidence of testimony, or however strong may be its visible characters of truth and honesty, is
not the falsehood or the contradiction, which we may detect in the subject of that testimony, sufficient to discredit it?
When the people of America look up to you with the eyes of filial love and affection, will you turn to them the shameful parts of the constitution ?-Fox's SPEECH.
These two parts, the one commencing with is not the falsehood--the other, will you turn, call upon us to consider whether is and will be emphatic. Whatever inflection be given to is, we think that will might very properly be read with the emphatic stress ; which, in our opinion, would prodigiously strengthen the idea of disgraceful conduct attached to the Ministers by holding up willingly those parts of the constitution to such near relations. Though the other ords will not be forgotten, they will yield the superiority to will; which superiority will therefore lead to the downward slide.
We have already seen and observed, that either the questioning or the answering state may be understood. We have seen that other sentences, than those commencing with verbs or interrogative words, may be questions. We have likewise seen that the questioning state may, in part or in whole, be answered by another question, whose inflection also depends on emphasis. Taking these observations, or, if you will, facts, along with us, we shall apply them to a few negative sentences, or members of sentences, which, by-the-bye, we have been told, end with the rising inflection. 'Walker calls this negative rule, one very great extent.” It is quite impossible that this assertion could go farther. His system could not admit of it. His erroneous notion of emphasis stood in its way. We must not forget that it was emphasis that gave him so much trouble and uneasiness. For, whithersoever he turned his face, it presented itself in battle array against him,—which,
though he had, as he undoubtedly thought, vanquished in one quarter, it re-appeared in all its vigour and strength against him in another. And though he sometimes seems about to close in peace this unhappy contest, yet we have no sooner con-ceived the thought, than we are obliged to confess that we are de-ceived. Some of his observations on emphasis, in relation to negative sentences, have led us to these remarks, and to think that he had almost, if not altogether, discovered the true nature and power of emphasis. But it very soon appears that, as to a proper knowledge of these, he still remains as completely in the dark as ever. He was very sensible, however, as he himself tells us, that
a negative member of a sentence may often have the falling, and a positive member the rising inflection." His researches and his attention to nature compelled him to admit this. None of his observations or rules, however, account for it, or give us a single reason why some of these sentences take the falling and others the rising slide. His negative rule, like his other rules, is founded on a very limited and superficial view of the cause of inflection. He has only observed, and told us what he has observed, that which indeed is far from being in the dark, that some sentences including a negation, take the rising, and some the falling inflection. But beyond this, he has gone scarcely a single step. From this view and some relative remarks, he has deduced what he denominates a general rule, which, to say the least of it, is any thing but applicable. This rule and other observations we cannot admit, because they will swell this Introduction too much. But the great error into which this plodding man fell, was his considering emphasis as something altogether independent of his rules of inflection.
It would appear after all, that the words, “ of very great extent present a rule apparently more general than it should be. For we have to affirm, that another rule equally extensive, equally well founded, and completely at variance with this rule, can be placed by its side. We mean that negative sentences or members of sentences end with the downward slide. This, too, we maintain is a rule of very great extent. This view of the case leads us obviously into a dilemma. But in one sense both rules are true, in another they are false. To be able, therefore, to inflect such sentences or parts of sentences with propriety, we must know when these rules are false, and when true. In short, we must have another rule than either. But we have referred them to our own rule. Questioning negatives take the rising, answering negatives the falling inflection-subject, however, to the control of emphasis, and such a control as we have already exhibited. . Considering the great importance of the emphatic rising and falling inflections, is it wonderful that Walker should appear, on many occasions, so very anxious to discover the cause? And though he extended, as he says, his speculations for this purpose, yet it does not appear that he has succeeded in coming much nearer to the point. Labouring strenuously and alone in the dark, he exclaims “ whatever may be the reason why the positive member of a sentence should adopt the emphasis with the falling inflection, and the negative member the rising; certain it is, that this appropriation of emphatic inflection to a positive or negative signification runs through the whole system of pronunciation.'