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are in general, such as seem the most important in the sentence, or on other accounts, to merit this distinction. The following pagsage will serve to exemplify the superior emphasis ;
* Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Sing, heavenly Muse!"
Supposing that originally other beings besides men, had disobeyed the commands of the Almighty, and that the circumstance were well known to us, there would fall an emphasis upon the word man's in the first line ; and hence, it would read thus :
"Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit,” &c. But if it were a notorious truth, that mankind had transgressed in a peculiar manner more than once, the emphasis would fall od first ; and the line be read,
- Of man's first disobedience, Again, admitting death (as was really the case) to have been an unheard of and dreadful punishment, brought upon man in consequence of his transgression ; on that supposition the third line would be read,
Brought death into the world,"* &c. But if we were to suppose, that mankind knew there was such an evil as death in other regions, thoug! the place they inhabited had been free from it till their' transgression, the line would run
Brought death into the world,” &c. The superior emphasis finds place in the following short sentence, which admils of four distinct meanings each of which is ascertain. ed by the emphasis only,
66 Do you ride to town to-day?" The following examples illustrate the nature and use of the inferior emphasis :
"Many persons mistake the love, for the praclice of virtue." “Shall I reward his services with falsehood ? Shall I forget him who cannot forget me."
“If his principles are false, no apology from himself can make them right ; if founded in truth, no censure from others can make
“ Though deep, yet clear ; though gentle, yet not dull,
" Strong, without rage ; without o'erflowing, full.” " A friend, exaggerates a man's virtues ; an enemy his crimes.""
“The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation, the fool, when he gains that of olhers.”
The superior emphasis, in reading as in speaking, must be determined entirely by the sense
the passage, and always made alike ; but as to the inferior emphasis, taste alone seems to have the right of fixing its situation and quantity.
Among the number of persons, who have had proper opportuni
ties of learning to read, in the best manner it is now taught, very few could be selected, who, in a given instance, would use the inferior emphasis alike, either as to place or quantity. Some persons, indeed, use scarcely any degree of it: and others do not scruple to carry it far beyond any thing to be found in common discourse; and even sometimes throw it upon words so very trifling in themselves, that it is evidently done with no other view, than to give a greater variety to the modulation.* Notwithstanding this diversity of practice, there are certainly proper boundaries, within which this emphasis ust be restrained, in order to make it meet the approbation of sound judgment and correct taste'. It will doubtless have different degrees of exertion, according to the greater or less degree of importance of the words upon which it operates; and there may be very properly, some variety in the use of it: but its application is not arbitrary, depending on the caprice of readers.,
As emphasis often falls on words in different parts of the same sentence, so it is frequently required to be continued, with a little variation, on two, and sometimes more words together. The following sentences exemplify both the parts of this position : "If you "seek to make one rich, study not to increase his stores, but to « diminish his desires."! "The Mexican figures, or picture-writing,
represent things, not words ; they exhibit images to the eye, not " ideas to the understanding,"
Some sentences are so full and comprehensive, that almost every word is emphatical: as, “ Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, 6 and plains !” or as that pathetic expostulation in the prophecy of 66 Ezekiel, Why will ye die!"
Emphasis, besides its other offices, is the great regulator of quantity. Though the quantity of our syllables is fixed, in words separately pronounced, yet it is mutable, when these words are arranged in sentences; the long being changed into short, the short into long, according to the importance of the word with regard to meaning. Eniphasis also, in particular cases, alters the seat of the accent. This is demonstrable from the following examples: “He shall increase, but I shall decrease.” " There is a difference between giving and forgiving." "In this species of composition, plausibility is much more essential than probability.” In these examples, the emphasis requires the accent to be placed on syllables to which it does not commonly belong.
In order to acquire the proper management of the emphasis, the great rule to be given is, that the reader study to attain a just conception of the force and spirit of the sentiments which he is to pronounce. For to lay the emphasis with exact propriety, is a constant exercise of good sense and attention. It is far from being an inconsiderable attainment. It is one of the most decisive trials of a true and just taste; and must arise from feeling delicately ourselves, and from judging accurately of what is fittest to strike the feelings of others.
* By modulation is meant, that pleasing variety of voice, which is perceived in uttering a sentence, and which in its nature, is per. fectly distinct from emphasis, and the tones of emotion and passion. The young reader should be careful to render his modulation correct and easy ; and, for this purpose, should form it upon the model of the most judicious and accurate speakers
There is one error, against which it is particularly proper to caution the learner; namely, that of multiplying emphatical words too much, and using the emphasis indiscriminately. It is only by a prudent reserve and distinction in the use of them, that we can give them any weight. If they recur too often ; if a reader attempts to render every thing he expresses, of high importance, by a multitude of strong emphasis, we soon learn to pay little regard to them. To crowd every sentence with emphatical words, is like crowding all the pages of a book with Italic characters : which as to tbe effect, is just the same as to use no such distinctions at all,
TONES are different both from emphasis and pauses'; consisting in the notes or variations of sound which we employ, in the expression of our sentiments. Emphasis affects particular words and pbrases, with a degree of tone, or inflexion of voice; but tones, peculiarly so called, affect sentences, paragraphs, and sometimes the whole of a discourse.
To show the use and necessity of tones, we need only observe, that the mind, in communicating its ideas, is in a constant state of activity, emotion, or agitation, from the different effects which those ideas produce in the speaker. Now the end of such communication being pot merely to lay open the ideas, but also the different feelings which they excite in him who utters them, there must be other signs than words, to manifest those feelings ; as words uttered in a monotonous manner can representsonly a similar state of mind free from all activity and emotion. As the combunication of these internal feelings was of much more consequence. in our social intercourse, than the mere conveyance of ideas, the Author of our being did not, as in that conveyance, leave the invention of the language of emotion to man; but impressed it bimself upon our nature, in the same manner as he has done with regard to the jest of the animal world ; all of which express their various feelings by various tones. Ours, indeed, from the superior rank that we hold, are in a high degree more comprehensive ; as there is not an act of the mind, an exertion of the fancy, or an emotion of the heart, which has not its peculiar tone, or pote of the voice, by which it is to be expressed ; and which is suited exactly to the degree of internal feeling. It is chiefly in the proper use of these tones, that the life, spirit, beauty, and harmony of delivery consist.
The limits of this introductioon do not admit of examples, to illustrate the variety of tones belonging to the different passions and emotions. We shall, however, select one, which is extracted from the beautiful lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan, and which will, in some degree, eludicate what has been said on this subject. The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high “places; how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath; pub" lish it not in the streets of Askelon ; lest the daughters of the “ Philistines rejoice ; lest the daughters of the uncircumcised tri“ umph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain
upon you, nor fields of offerings; for there the shield of the " mighty was vilely cast away; the shield of Saul, as " though he had not been anointed with oil.” The first of these divisions, expresses and sorrow lamentation ; therefore the note is low. The next contains a spirited command, and should be pronunced much higher. The other sentence, in which he makes a pathetic address to the mountains where his friends had been slain, must be expressed in a note quite different from the two former; pot so low as the first, nor so high as the second, but in a manly, firm, and yet plaintive tone.
The correct and patural language of the emotions is not so difficult to be attained as most readers seem to imagine. If we enter into the spirit of the author's sentiments, as well as into the meaning of his words, we shall not fail to deliver the words in properly varied tones. For there are few people, who speak English without a provincial note, that have not an accurate use of tones, when they utter their sentiments in earnest discourse. And the reason that they have not the same use of them, in reading aloud the sentiments of others, may be traced to the very defective and erroneous method in wich the art of reading is taught; whereby all the various, natural, expressive tones of speech, are suppressed; and a few artificial, unmeaning reading notes, aresubstituted for them.
But when we recommend to readers, an attention to the tone and language of emotions, we must be understood to do it with proper limitation. Moderation is necessary in this point, as it is in other things. For when the reading becomes strictly imitative, it assumes a theatrical manner, and must be highly improper, as well as give offence to the hearers; because it is inconsistent with that delicacy and modesty which are indispensable op such occasions. The speaker who delivers his own emotions, must be supposed to be more vivid and animated than would be proper in' the person who relates them at second hand.
We shall conclude this section with the following rule, for the tones that indicate the passions and emotions : " In reading, let “all your tones of expression be borrowed from those of common 6 speech, but, in some degree, more faintly characterized. Let " those tones which signify any disagreeable passion of the mind, “ be still more faint than those which indicate agreeable emo" tions : and, on all occasions, preserve yourselves from being so “far affected with the subject, as to be unableto proceed through “ it, with that easy and masterly manner, which has its good ef"fects in this, as well as in every other art."
PAUSES, or rests, in speaking or reading, are a total cessation of the voice, during a perceptible, and, in many cases, a measure able space of time. Pauses are equally necessary to the speaker and the hearer. To the speaker, that he may take breath, without which he cannot proceed far in delivery; and that he may, by these temporary rests, relieve the organs of speech which oth
erwise would be soon tired by continued action ; to the hearer, that the ear, also, may be relieved from the fatigue which it would otherwise endure from a continuity of sound; and that the understanding may have sufficient time to mark the distinction of sentences, and their several members.
There are two kinds of pauses: first, emphatical pauses; and next, such as mark the distinctions of sense.
An emphatical pause, is generally made after something has been said of peculiar moment, and on which we desire to fix the hearer's attention, Sometimes, before such a thing is said, we usher it in with a pause of this pature. Such pauses have the same effect as a strong emphasis ; and are subject to the same rules; especially to the caution of not repeating them too frequently. For as they excite uncommon attention, and of course raise expectation, if the importance of the matter be not fully answerable to such expectation, they occasion disappointment and disgust.
But the most frequent and the pripcipal use of pauses, is to park the divisions of the sense, and at the same time to allow the Teader to draw his breath ; and the proper and delicate adjustment of such pauses, is one of the most nice and difficult articles of delivery. In all reading, the management of the breath requires a good deal of care, so as not to oblige us to divide words from one another, which have so intimate a connexion, that they ought to be pronounced with the same breath, and without the least separation. Many a sentence is miserably mangled, and the force of the emphasis totally lost, by divisions boing made in the wrong place. To avoid this every one, while he is reading, should be very careful to provide a full supply of breath for what he is to atter. It is a great mistake to imagine, that the breath must be drawn only at the end of a period when the voice is allowed to fall. It may easily be gathered at the intervals of the period, when the voice is suspended only for a moment; and, by this management, one may always have a sufficient stock for carrying on the longest sentence, without improper interruptions.
Pauses in reading must generally be formed upon the manner in which we utter ourselves in ordinary, sepsible conversation ; and not upon the stiff artificial manner, which is acquired from Teading books according to the common punctuation. It will by no means be sufficient to attend to the points used in printing ; for these are far from marking all the pauses which ought to be made in reading. A mechanical attention to these resting places, bas perhaps been one cause of monotony, by leading the reader to a similar tone at every stop, and a uniform cadence at every period. The primary use of points, is to assist the reader in discerning the grammatical construction ; and it is only as a secondary object, that they regulate his pronunciation. On this head, the following direction may be of use : “ Though in reading . great attention should be paid to the stops, yet a greater should be given to the sense ; and their correspondent times occasionally lengthened beyond what is usual in common speech.
To reoder pauses pleasing and expressive, they must not only be made in the right place, but also accompanied with a proper tone of voice, by which the pature of these pauses is intimated, much more than by the length of them, which can seldom be