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to lay particular ftrefs, and to show how they affect the reft of the fentence. Sometimes the emphatic words must be diftinguished by a particular tone of voice, as well as by a particular ftrefs. On the right management of the emphafis depends the life of pronunciation. If no emphasis be placed on any words, not only is difcourfe rendered heavy and lifeless, but the meaning left often ambiguous. If the emphasis be placed wrong, we pervert and confound the meaning wholly.
Emphasis may be divided into the Superior and the Inferior emphafis. The fuperior emphafis determines the meaning of a fentence, with reference to something faid before, presupposed by the author as general knowledge, or removes an ambiguity, where a paffage may have more fenfes than one. The inferior emphasis enforces, graces, and enlivens, but does not fix, the meaning of any paffage. The words to which this latter emphasis is given, are, in general, such as seem the most important in the sentence, or, on other accounts, to merit this diftinction. The following paffage will ferve to exemplify the fuperior emphasis.
" Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Suppofing that originally other beings, befides men, had disobeyed the commands of the Almighty, and that the circumftance were well known to us, there would fall an emphasis upon the word man's in the firft 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 tranfgreffed in a peculiar manner more than once, the emphasis would fall on firft; and the line be read,
"Of man's first disobedience," &c.
Again, admitting death (as was really the cafe) to have been an unheard of and dreadful punishment, brought upon man in confequence of his transgression; on that fuppofition the third line would be read,
Brought death into the world, &c."
But if we were to fuppofe that mankind knew there was fuch an evil as death in other regions, though the place they inhabited had been free from it till their tranfgreffion, the line would
Brought death into the world,” &c.
The fuperior emphasis finds place in the following short fentence, which admits of four distinct meanings, each of which is afcertained by the emphasis only.
"Do you ride to town to-day?"
The following examples illuftrate the nature and ufe of the inferior emphafis :
"Many perfons miftake the love for the practice of virtue." "Shall I reward his fervices 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 cenfure from others can make them wrong."
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 wife man is happy, when he gains his own approbation; the fool, when he gains that of others."
The fuperior emphasis, in reading as in speaking, must be determined entirely by the fenfe of the paffage, and always made alike: but as to the inferior emphasis, taste alone seems to have the right of fixing its fituation and quantity.
Among the number of perfons, who have had proper opportu nities 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 emphafis alike, either as to place or quantity. Some perfons, indeed, ufe fcarcely any degree of it: and others do not fcruple to carry it far beyond any thing to be found in common difcourfe; and even fometimes to throw it upon words fo very trifling in themselves, that it is evidently done with no other view, than to give greater variety to the modulation.* Notwithstanding this diverfity of practice, there are certainly proper boundaries, within which this emphasis must be restrained, in order to make it meet the approbation of found judgment and correct tafte. It will doubtlefs have different degrees of exertion, according to the greater or lefs degrees of importance of the words upon which it operates; and there may be very properly fome variety in the use of it: but its application is not arbitra ry, depending on the caprice of readers.
As emphasis often falls on words in different parts of the fame fentence, fo it is frequently required to be continued with a little variation, on two, and sometimes more words together. The following fentences exemplify both the parts of this position : "If you feek to make one rich, ftudy not to increase his flores, 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."
* By modulation is meant that pleasing variety of voice, which is perceived in uttering a sentence, and which, in its nature, is perfectly distinct from emphasis, and the tones of emotion and passion The young reader should be careful to render his modu lation correct and easy; and, for this purpose, should form it upon the model of the most judicious and accurate speakers.
Some fentences are fo full and comprehenfive, that almost every word is emphatical: as, "Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains!" or, as that pathetic expoftulation in the prophecy of Ezekiel, "Why will ye die !"
Emphasis, besides it other offices, is the great regulator of quantity. Though the quantity of our fyllables is fixed, in words feparately pronounced, yet it is mutable, when these words are arranged in fentences; the long being changed into short, the short into long, according to the importance of the word with regard to meaning. Emphasis also, in particular cafes, alters the seat of the accent. This is demonftrable from the following examples. "He shall increase, but I fhall decrease." "There is a difference between giving and forgiving." "In this fpecies of composition, plausibility is much more essential than probability." In these examples, the emphasis requires the accent to be placed on fyllables, to which it does not commonly belong.
In order to acquire the proper management of the emphafis, the great rule to be given, is, that the reader ftudy to attain a juft conception of the force and spirit of the fentiments 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 fitteft to ftrike the feelings of others.
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 referve and diftinction 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 expreffes of high importance, by a multitude of ftrong emphases, we foon learn to pay little regard to them. To crowd every fentence with emphatical words, is like crowding all the pages of a book with Italic characters; which, as to the effect, is just the same as to use no fuch distinctions at all.
TONES are different both from emphasis and paufes; confifting in the notes or variations of found which we employ, in the expreffion of our fentiments. Emphafis affects particular words and phrafes, with a degree of tone or inflection of voice; but tones, peculiarly fo called, affect fentences, paragraphs, and fometimes even the whole of a discourse.
To show the ufe and neceffity 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 thofe ideas produce in the speaker. Now the end of fuch com
munication being, not merely to lay open the ideas, but also the different feelings which they excite in him who utters them, there must be other figns than words, to manifeft those feelings; as words uttered in a monotonous manner can reprefent only a fimilar state of mind, perfectly free from all activity and emotion. As the communication of these internal feelings was of much more confequence in our focial intercourfe, 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 impreffed it himself upon our nature, in the fame manner as he has done with regard to the reft of the animal world; all of which exprefs 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 note of the voice, by which it is to be expreffed; and which is suited exactly to the degree of internal feeling. It is chiefly in the proper use of these tones, that the life, fpirit, beauty, and harmony of delivery confift.
The limits of this Introduction do not admit of examples, to illuftrate the variety of tones belonging to the different paffions and emotions. We shall, however, felect one, which is extracted from the beautiful lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan, and which will, in fome degree, elucidate what has been faid on this fubject. "The beauty of Ifrael is slain upon thy high places; how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath; publifh it not in the ftreets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice; left the daughters of the uncircumcifed triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain upon you, nor fields of offerings; for there the fhield of the mighty was vilely caft away; the fhield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil." The first of these divifions expreffes forrow and lamentation: therefore the note is low. The next contains a fpirited command, and should be pronounced much higher. The other fentence, in which he makes a pathetic address to the mountains where his friends had been slain, muft be expressed in a note quite different from the two former, not fo low as the firft, nor so high as the fecond, in a manly, firm, and yet plaintive tone.
The correct and natural language of the emotions is not fo difficult to be attained, as most readers seem to imagine. If we enter into the spirit of the author's fentiments, 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 ufe of tones, when they utter their fentiments in earnest discourse. And the reason that they have not the fame use of them, in reading aloud the fentiments of others, may be traced to the very defective and erroneous method, in which the art of reading is taught; whereby all the various, natural expressive tones of
speech, are fuppreffed; and a few artificial, unmeaning reading notes, are substituted 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 neceffary in this point, as it is in other things. For when reading becomes ftrictly imitative, it affumes a theatrical manner, and must be highly improper, as well as give offence to the hearers; because it is inconsistent with that delicacy and modefty, which are indifpenfable on fuch occafions. The speaker who delivers his own emotions must be supposed to be more vivid and animated, than would be proper in the perfon who relates them at fecond hand.
We shall conclude this section with the following rule, for the tones that indicate the paffions and emotions. "In reading, let all your tones of expression be borrowed from those of common speech, but, in fome degree, more faintly characterised. Let those tones which fignify any disagreeable passion of the mind, be still more faint than those which indicate agreeable emotions; and, on all occafions, preserve yourselves from being so far affected with the subject, as to be able to proceed through it, with that eafy and masterly manner, which has its good effect in this, as well as in every other art."
PAUSES or refts, in speaking or reading, are a total cessation of the voice, during a perceptible, and, in many cafes, a measurable space of time. Paufes are equally necessary to the fpeaker, 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 refts, relieve the organs of speech, which otherwife would be foon tired by continued action to the hearer, that the ear alfo may be relieved from the fatigue, which it would otherwise endure from a continuity of found; and that the understanding may have sufficient time to mark the diftinction of fentences, and their several members.
There are two kind of paufes : firft, emphatical pauses; and next, fuch as mark the diftinctions of fenfe. An emphatical pause is generally made after fomething has been faid of peculiar moment, and on which we defire to fix the hearer's attention. Sometimes, before fuch a thing is faid, we usher it in with a pause of this nature. Such pauses have the fame effect as a ftrong emphasis; and are fubject to the fame rules; especially to the caution, of not repeating them too frequently. For as they excite uncommon attention, and of courfe raise expectation, if the importance of the matter be not fully answerable to fuch expectation, they occasion disappointment and difguft.
But the most frequent and the principal use of paufes, is to mark the divisions of the fenfe, and at the fame time to allow the reader to draw his breath; and the proper and delicate adjust