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serve for that one word "
worth,” upon fail greatly in these respects. Precision which the power of the passage depends. may be acquired by a little careful vocal Before reaching this key-word you per- training. The habit of a correct pronunceive a self-restraint, and an appearance ciation may be secured by observing the of increasing carnestness and deliberate- usage of the best speakers, and by setnoss, a something like spurring and rein- tling doubtful questions on the authority ing in a passion at the same moment, till of those orthoepists who are acknowlthe crimson mounts to the face from the edged judgos, as having thoroughly invesaction of an irrepressible emotion when tigated the pronunciation of every word, the word “WORTH” is uttered with both from general use, and the analogies | such a volume and percussive force of and laws of the language. I voice as cause the sentiment of the entire
It may be observed, in passing, that a paragraph to take full possession of the correct pronunciation is of chief conseminds of the hearers. Men retire talking quence in those words that are of most of that fine passage of Pope, and of the frequent recurrence. For instance, if you merits of that great poet. If they speak should commit errors in pronouncing of the reader, it is to mark a defect; to foreign names or very unusual words, it say what a pity that he has such a dis- would be justly regarded as pardonable, agreeable drawl. Yet, in spite of that de- but if you were to mispronounce words fect, his reading has accomplished the in the verb to be and in constantly recuronly end that is worthy to be sought by ring particles--if you should say ben for the art. One has exhibited himself—the been (bin), air for are (ar), agane for ; other has electrified his audience with the again (agen), against, with ai long, as in i thought. It is easy to perceive which is pain, instead of agenst, dooz for does the true artist.
(duz), it would be unpardonable. There There are two qualities which every is also a considerable class of words liable good reader must acquire, and yet they to be mispronounced by giving them in are very likely to be regarded as of more reading a precision such as is allowable consequence than they really possess---I only when they are emphatic. The posmcan a distinct utterance and a correct sessive pronouns your and my are exam| pronunciation. Reading certainly can not ples. In conversation we say, Give me
be impressive without a general precision your (yr) hand; I put on my overcoat and and distinctness of enunciation. It has went out. In reading, even where no been justly said that the reader's words emphasis demands it, it is common to utshould “fall from his lips like new coin ter these words with such a fullness asfrom the mint-each one being of due You (yew) give me your (ewer) hand in weight and possessing a sharp image and good faith ; I put on my overcoat and resplendent surface.” Yot precision may went out. Yet, your, when not emphatic, be carried to an extreme, or may be em ought to be pronounced as (yer) in the ployed in just measure even, without se- word lawyer. curing a good elocution. The same gen- An opposite fault in pronouncing oceral reinark may be made in respect to curs in large classes of words, in which pronunciation. But, as a correct orthoepy some of the primary elements of the sounds and precision of utterance are both easily are changed in their quality when they attained, it is a shame for any scholar to ought to be only diminished in force.
Thus in president, resident, and eminent, particular stress on the second syllable, the French sound of the i ought to be re- thus, con-di-tion. If you will incrcase tained, as also the short sound of the the emphasis with ease to yourself, a sece in the termination ent. The word ond natural device for securing the obpresident must be so pronounced that ject is a clear and full precision in the it shall not appear as an affected preci- utterance of the whole word, thus, "Honsion, as if it were prez-cedent, yet the el-or and shame from no condition rise," ementary sounds must not be so changed pronouncing the entire word with great that, in the case of strong emphasis, it precision. Do you mean to say he is a would become pres-ud-unt. An elegant scoundrel? Yes, I do. I mean to say pronunciation is worthy of attention be- he is a con-sum-mate scoundrel. Here cause it adds something to the excellency a slow, distinct utterance of all the of good reading. And yet precision of syllables greatly increases the emphautterance and a correct pronunciation are sis. Kean has been criticised as guilty of but as “the tithing of mint, anise, and a great affectation in exhibiting the doucumin.” The weightier matters are the bling of the m in the word summer in intonations, varied perpetually in quality this passage : “Now is the winter of and force, presenting thoughts in their our discontent made glorious sum-mer by just light and shade to the ear, as paint- this son of York.” But, it was no affecing presents to the eye the objects of tation unless, indeed, the emphasis may vision.
have been stronger than the sense required. These intonations are mainly exhibited In uttering the whole of an emphatic in emphasis, its opposite, and the adap- word with a marked precision, the voice tations of sounds to sense. Inflections
does for the ear what the compositor does may be omitted, because one can scarcely for the eye, when he prints the entire fail in them if a proper habit be once se
word in capital letters. Precision, then, cured in the three particulars just men
is as clearly a part of emphasis--a means tioned,
of drawing attention to the word-as is
stress on the accented syllable. The subject of emphasis is one of pri
A third element in emphasis is a pause mary importance, and is of the more con
before the emphatic word. To take the sequence in this discussion, because inad
sentence just now recited, you will obequately treated in the books. I must
serve the emphasis may be augmented by speak of the nature of emphasis, or the
a pause before the word summer. Let manner of making it, of its place and its
this pause be represented to the eye by a proportions.
vacant space before the word.
“Now is Emphasis consists in every thing be- the winter of our-discontent made glolonging to utterance by which a reader rious-summer by this son of York.” or speaker draws especial attention to a The pause before the emphatic word is word or phrase. It involves six partic- not unlike that gathering and adjusting ulars. The first is that stress of voice on of the muscles which a man displays the accented syllable of a word which is when he is about to deal a vigorous stroke, commonly denominated emphasis. If or to make a powerful leap. Nor is it you say, “Honor and shame from no less manifest that a pause after the emcondition rise," a degree of emphasis is phatic word adds a fourth element to the imparted to the word condition, by a emphasis. You may observe it in the
same passage—"Now is the winter of is given to another word, in the same our discontent made glorious- sum- sentence, in a quiet and easy manner.mer –by this son of York.” A fifth Thus if you take the first couplet of means of augmenting emphasis is by Streets' poem of “The Grey Forest Eachanging the manner instantly and to-gle," you have at least four emphatic tally after the emphatic word. This con- words. sists in fallir at once, and, as it were, “With storm-daring pinion and sun-gazing perpendicular into a colloquial style of utterance. Refer again to the same passage,
The gray forest Eagle reigns King of the sky." and observe the change after the word The words storm and sun are in a small
“Made glorious-summer- degree emphatic, and the emphasis may by this son of York." One thing more is be marked by a slight stress of voice, and often employed with great advantage, as a pause follows each, while the word eaa sixth device for strengthening an em-gle and king demand more prominence. phasis ; I mean a circumflex on the em- The word eagle must receive consideraphatic word. The circumflex is justly ble emphasis, as being the only object of considered a great blemish when too interest presented to the sentence, and as freely used in reading. It is that which, brought forward for the first time. But when it prevails, constitutes a disagree- the word king suggests still greater maj
able drawl. Yet, in its place, it is an el-esty and consequence. The emphasis on : ement of power. Take an example of it eagle may, therefore, be made by a cir
on the word“ more," in the passage fron cumflex and slightly increased force of Pope:
utterance, reserving for the word king, “ IIonor and shame from no condition rise,
which is of greater moment, that broad, Act well your part, there all the honor lies. deep, percussive force which gives the Fortune in men has some small difference made;
greatest effect, and which, on that account, One flaunts in rags-one flutters in brocade ; ought to be used sparingly. The cobler aproned and the parson gowned, The friar hooded and monarch crowned. “ With storm daring pinion and sun-gazing What differ-more--you cry, than crown and eye, cowl?
The grey forest Eagle reigns KING of the I'll tell you, friend-a wise man and a fool." sky." I have thus shown that emphasis con
Thus it may be seen that the various sists in the six following things: stress methods by which emphasis is created, on the accented syllable; precision in give the cultivated reader power to disenunciating the whole word; a pause be- tribute the emphasis with ease to himself, fore the emphatic word; a pause after it; and to employ such varieties as are nata sudden and total change of manner af- ural, and agreeable to the hearers. ter the emphatic word, and a circum- The finding of the emphasis is confessflex.
edly one of the most difficult things in These various modes of creating and the art of reading. This difficulty may strengthening emphasis give to the rea- be diminished somewhat by specifying der the advantage of securing, when he a few entire classes of words that are alchooses, a powerful emphasis with little ways emphatic, except where the emphaphysical labor, and also enable him to sis has been just before employed, and employ stress of voice on one word in a where it is consequently implied, and sentence, while an almost equal emphasis not to be repeated.
Adverbs of negation are always em- For similar reasons, never and ever and phatic. They are employed to deny always follow the same law; they are alwhat were else asserted in the sentence. ways employed to give emphasis to the asThe very design of emphasis is to bring sertion with which they are connected. out the sense, and the sense of the sen- For the same reason, negative particles in tence denying anything hangs upon the composition are always emphatic. Thus negative particle. There may be another un is never unemphatic. I am not, indeed, emphatic word in the sentence, but there unaware of the fact that many good reais so much the greater necessity that the ders say unblemished, inexcusable, and negative should be also emphasized, lest unlovely, without any stress on the partithe hearer should understand you as af- cle un ; but the clearness and force with firming what you intend to deny. But which ideas are brought to the mind if you take a succession of negative propo- through the ear are quite manifest when sitions, after one emphasis on the negative a small degree of emphasis is put upon particle, it may be diminished in the next, such particles; and when the words with and then be thoroughly kept down to the which they are joined become strongly end of the series. Thus, if you take the emphaticin conversation, the law becomes five negative commandments in the second quite perceptible. Thus a man speaking table of the Decalogue, you will perceive in tones of severe censure, says his conthat the emphasis passes entirely away duct is totally inexcusable, and that it so soon as it comes to be understood, was most unwise for himself. from the similarity of the successive sen
To diminish still further the difficulty tences, that it belongs to them. Thus
of finding the emphasis, two sources of we read—“Thou shalt not kill." We mistake may be specified in this respect. then make it less—"Thou shalt not commit adultery.” We then dismiss the em
In the first place, the love of euphony phasis through the entire series; as it is often draws the attention of the reader aa rule never to employ emphasis where way from the proper place of the emphait is not necessary to a full development
sis. If one has the least degree of music of the sense upon the ear.
The first not
in his soul, he will feel inclined to bring is uttered with a distinct force. The next out his brilliant tones on brilliant words one with less. After that, every not is and to avoid the expending of his power: pronounced in the lightest manner, as if of decoration on ill-sounding expressions it were written n't, without any vowel
Take, for instance, the particle but sound, and every nor as if it were n'r, which, as implying an opposite meaning without a vowel—thus:
of great force, often demands a strong em “Thou shalt not kill."
phasis. It can not be strongly empha “Thou shalt , not commit adultery."
sized without seeming inelegant.“ Thou shalt n't steal."
Yet the homely force with which it is of “Thou shalt n't bear false witness a- ten uttered in conversation, ought to ap gainst thy neighbor."
pear in a passage like the following: ** Thou shalt n't covet thy neighbor's am the least of the apostles, and not mee house, thou shalt n't covet thy neighbor's to be called an apostle, because I perse wife, n'r his maid servant, n'r his ox, n'r cuted the church of God. But, by th his ass, n'r anything that is thy neigh-grace of God, I am what I amn." Ther bor's."
is another word in this same passage
where the love of euphony will draw a- the thought had been thus expressed: side almost every reader from the true "Behold, there were persons that
appearemphasis. It is commonly placed on ed to them, two in number, and the garGod. It is read, “I persecuted the ments which they had on were shining." church of God.” Yet it is not the church Then no one would have misplaced the of God, in opposition to the church of emphasis. some other being. Church is the em
Another instance may be cited from the phatic word. If the phrase " of God" same chapter. Let it be read first, as were left out, the sense would be com
nearly as possible, correctly, in every plete. Besides this, it is difficult to our
other respect, except with the omission of organs to spend their force on the word
the most important emphasis in the whole church, when it is thus connected. If paragraph—“And the one of them, whose church had been the last word in the sen
name was Cleopas, answering, said unto tence, it would have been easy to say, “I
him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusapersecuted God's church." It is difficult
lem, and hast not known the things which
have come to pass there in these days? to say, "I persecuted the church of God," emphasizing the word church, and keep, and they said unto him, Concerning Je
And he said unto them, What things? ing down the word God. In the gospel according to Luke, in speaking of the ap mighty in deed and word before God, and
sus of Nazareth, which was a prophet, pearance of the angels, the writer says, all the people.” The principal emphatic “ And it came to pass as they were much word is things. If events had been emperplexed thereabout, behold, two men
ployed instead of things, no one would stood by them, in shining garments.”— have thought of placing the emphasis The rhythm of the sentence would seem elsewhere. Let it be so read, and then to demand that the emphasis should be again, let it be read with the word things placed upon the words men and garments, in its place, and you shall see that there is and nine out of ten would read it: “Be
something in the word things which leads hold, two men stood by them in shining
us to avoid making it prominent. The garments." And yet the fact that two men were there in opposition to women, mine where the emphasis shall be placed.
sense alone, and not euphony, must deteror children, or angels, is not the idea of
The second source of illusion is found the writer. He draws attention to the idea, that where they expected to see no
in a disposition to give prominence to erbody-nothing but a silent tomb,on which which is of great intrinsic consequence,
ery word which is in itself striking, or the gentle mists of the morning were Hence it is that the word God, in the descending—they saw living personages, phrase, “I persecuted the church of God," two of them. That they were invested
seems to demand an emphasis, and hence, with garments was not remarkable, but their clothing was bright. If the sen
also, a great part of cultivated speakers, tence were so constructed by the colloca
in the pulpit, always pronounce the name tion of the words and phrases of which
of the Divine Being with a power of voice
which corresponds in some degree with it is composed, as to make it easy for the
their sense of his awful majesty and organs of utterance to put the emphasis on the right words, no one would be like greatness. And hence, too, the boys at ly to have misplaced it. Suppose, then, I better than others, endeavor to imitate
school, especially those that can declaim