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Aids to Self-Culturr. THE ART OF READING.-RHETORICAL PUNCTUATION OR
PAUSATION. HAVING given a short summary of the general principles of punctuation,* we next proceed to a consideration of that part of the subject which naturally depends upon it, namely, pausation. And here, as in the former article, we shall give merely an outline; leaving the studious pupil to his own ingenuity and observation to fill in the details. The industrious and earnest can scarcely fail of success; always remembering that “the sense of the writer is of the first importance." Do not fail to bear in mind also, that a good reader tries to set the merits of the author palpably before his listeners, and that it argues bad taste to strive to make that author simply a pedestal whereon to perch, peacock-like, his own conceit. If the author is worth reading at all, he can dispense with your “dumbshows and mouthing." I need not, perhaps, remind my readers there is such a thing as “Hamlet's instructions to the players.” Every one should read it carefully. A word or two regarding manner may perhaps, with advantage, be offered here. It is not enough to know when and where to pause, how to inflect and emphasize your words, it is also desirable to read in an easy, fluent manner, not stilted as though you were being jolted in a coal cart. Right angles are not required in this art-acute ones may sometimes be tolerated, as it is necessary in some compositions to give a strong, quick emphasis to the words. But what I mean by reading at right angles, is taking so much notice of your rules that you lose the spirit and harmony of the thoughts you are vainly trying to represent. I grant that to study the rules and to put them into practice will require much consideration, much reading and re-reading. This should be: practise at one pause till you get precisely the right amount of time you desire; then go on and read over again and again till you get the whole done to your satisfaction. I may just say, en passant, that I think Knowles's “ Elocutionist" the best book I have seen for the student, there is in it such a nice selection of pieces for practice.
In reading aloud, as in speaking, it is very necessary to avoid a long monotone, or that dreadful habit of lowering the voice at the end of every sentence, even if an interrogative one, as though you had caught the “falling sickness." We need scarcely mention that miserable affectation that obtains among none but dandies, who pronounce all they say in a light frivolous tone, who perhaps were never guilty of uttering a serious sentence in their lives. Let me say, I sincerely believe that no ENGLISHMAN could do it. No man who has ever felt his blood tingle at the remembrance of his ancestors—no man who has thought of the genius—the strong energetic character of our language, can possibly so forget himself as to cultivate a flippant style of expression; for, of all affectations, this is the most detestable.
This is said, more to guard the unwary, who may possibly have connected elocution with stage ranting or with the genteel, silvery, mellifluous falsettos of nice men in faultless, cream-coloured smalls.
* Generally called grammatical punctuation, which is an error ; it might more appropriately be called logical punctuation.
Having discharged so much at the reader, by way of a battre la générale, we will at once proceed to give a series of rules, as simple and as intelligible as the nature of the subject and our powers will admit.
We shall depart from ordinary usage as little as possible; and, therefore, take as the groundwork of our operations, the nine parts of speech, known by every schoolboy. It is true that we shall class many words together as though one, yet this need not in the least degree confuse, but will be found to make the subject far more easy of comprehension.
We need not, perhaps, be at any great pains to impress upon the reader, after what we have said on punctuation, the fact that, if an article be properly punctuated, where there is a point there should also be a pause. We wish this general rule to be borne in mind, as it will save much repetition. We commence with the article; of course, definite or indefinite it follows the same rule. It will be seen that the “ rules” will consist of affirmation and negation. We think it not important to give them any preëminence in the order, as it does not at all affect the subject.
We cannot pause between an article and the noun to which it belongs, as “the sea" — "an eye.” We could not read thus, “an eye,” “the sea,” leaving a great gap by pausing between them. They should read so, “aneye,” “ thesea," giving each syllable its proper intonation.
Each syllable of a word, as each word of a sentence, should be clearly and distinctly uttered.
We must not pause between the adjective and the noun to which it belongs, nor between the article and the adjective—so that the following, would read as one word, —
“Thesoundingsea."* These three words are all closely connected, so that no pause can be admitted. The same holds good if an adverb be added
“Theeversoundingsea.” When two adjectives are connected to one noun, and they themselves are joined by a conjunction, we may pause slightly after, or rather we may dwell upon, the first; what we mean by dwelling upon is not pausing; but merely lengthening the word you are speaking: -thus, in the following lines, it would destroy the unity if a pause were admitted after “on," whereas by dwelling upon the word itself, or making it rather longer, it takes away the angularity or squareness, so to speak.
“But nothing he'll reck if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him." No pause between “in” and “on."
Thus then; “ The great and invincible Alexander," where we may dwell upon “great," but scarcely pause.
The possessive case of a noun or pronoun is taken as an adjective. We may pause after the subject or nominative case, especially if that nominative consist of more than one word; as “ The great and invincible Alexander wept for the fate of Darius.”
* For more a ljectives than one connected to one nouv, see “ Punctuation," p. 283, 8 4.
No pause can be admitted between the objective case and that which governs it—as: “where a Briton has laid him. Here the transitive verb " has laid” governs “him.”
If a new sentence be added, or there be two verbs (transitive) to one object, then a pause and a point may be admitted, as
“With fruitless labor Clara bound,
And strove to staunch, the gushing wound.” The same rule is true of two nominatives or subjects to one verb.
The same is true of prepositions. We have before said that prepositions may be as well called post-positions, only that they generally govern what comes after; and are only connected with what goes before. There are three kinds of prepositions. One showing the position of one thing with regard to another, as “my pen is on the paper." “ On” shows the position of the “pen” with regard to the paper." The next shows a relation or connection with the two, rather than the position: as—“You are playing for me, you are playing music for me.” Here it will be seen that though we may put a noun after the verb, yet, that the true connection is between the verb and the preposition, or, the noun which it (the preposition) governs. The other kind of preposition is chiefly confined to the preposition“ of," and shows the possessive case: thus, “ the Queen of England”-is equal to “ England's Queen.” “Ye storm winds of Autumn," or, as it might read, " Autumn's s'orm winds." From what has been said then, it will be seen that we may not pause between the objective case and the preposition which governs it, any more than we may between the transitive verb and its object. Thus; “Across the ever sounding sea.” It will be seen at once that every word in that sentence is so closely connected as to admit of no pause.
We may as well mention a common fault, which occurred to us as we wrote the two lines quoted above; namely of the hop, skip, and jump style of reading, or rather of the undulating movements which some people are guilty of, as if we were to write the lines thus
As we have said there can be no pause admitted between the preposition and the objective, it will be well to say, that the connection between the preposition and that which goes before being not quite so strong, it is possible at times to pause between the two.
The same holds good of the conjunction, where we may pause before it, but not after it: though the common practice is in direct opposition to that; especially when the conjunction marks a consequence. As—“ I eat, that I may live.” Here, as Dr. Latham observes, the word that “ denotes that one act is done for the sake of supplying the power or opportunity for the performance of another.”
The same rule still holds with regard to the relative and antecedent—as will be seen in
“Te who hath lent him o'er the dead," where a pause should be used after “ He" and te ore “who.”
The word that is used also as a demonstrative pronoun (or adjective) and follows the same rule in that case. When it is used as a relative, it of course requires the same treatment as a relative, as will be seen by altering the above line, thus:
“He that hath bent him,” &c. An adverb should never be separated from a verb by a pause, except when there are more than one, as
“ Lightly quit what lightly came.” It will be found here that the compound word "what” sometimes requires a pause, however slight, before it, even after a transitive verb; the reason of this is twofold; at least in the above sentence; first as it is used as a compound including the antecedent and relative, as, “ Lightly quit that (thing) which lightly came." Secondly, the quantity of the word " quit" being short, it is scarcely possible to dwell upon it, which in other instances would save the pause.
With regard to the interjection, we can give little rule for its use; as it seems to compose the sum and substance of some people's existence. The pause to be given in this instance is indefinite—it depends upon the amount of effeminacy there is in the composition of those who use them; if they belong to that class who would be likely to “die of a rose in aromatic pain,”—then who shall arrange it “ according to Cocker.”
Politics. OUGHT THE UNIVERSITIES OF OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE TO BE THROWN
OPEN AS NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS FOR BRITISH SUBJECTS OF ALL RELIGIOUS OPINIONS ?
ACCEPTING the dictum of the Oxford Truth in general is of two kinds, natural Commissioners, that “the colleges have now and moral. Of the former kind of truth we become national institutions," we shall pro- shall have but little to say, as we opine that ceed to argue the present question on the if truth of this degree had been all that the ground of national good, and specifically of universities contemplated, the present questhat higher good, implied in the interests of tion had never arisen. It is truth of the truth, to which mere conventionalities— subjective sphere, or moral truth, which "prescriptive rights derived from imme. claims our attention. The obviously supreme morial usage"-should bend.
importance of this degree of truth, which The universities being corporate bodies, relates to the soul and its immortality, with the object of whose collegation is learning, those who believe in these attributes of man, and its advancement, i. e., truth, its ac- has very properly resulted in the subordinaquirement and discovery, it is plain that tion of merely secular truth to it in all eduthe right and expediency of any measure cational processes carried out under sach affecting their constitution should be tested auspices; and it was probably the desire to by its effects in regard to truth. Hence the secure the highest and purest theories on discussion of the present question involves a these all-important subjects which originconsideration of the requirements of truth ally led to the adoption, in some instances, in regard to what promotes, and what is of a creed or analogous formula, as a test inimical to, its interests.
| whereby a pledge of conformity to certain
dogmas might be obtained from all who that is to say, they are changed in a relative would avail themselves of the advantages sense; hence result different, higher ideas. held ont. Now, as the required subscrip- It is easy to see that this must ever be the tion to the Thirty-nine Articles, by all quality pertaining to all human ideas-alwho would matriculate at Oxford or Cam- ways changing - possibly progressing — for bridge, constitutes a test which excludes a the Infinite can never be attained to, or exlarge portion of “British subjects,” whose hausted, consequently the quality of relative“ religious opinions" will not allow them to ness can never be superseded; and happy for make this subscription, from the benefits of man that it is so, since he is thereby for ever these institutions, the question, to our mind, secured in the possible enjoyment of the turns upon the wisdom of tests in general, highest and purest of human delights—the and, in consequence, of this test in particu- pursuit and attainment of wisdom, which lar; and we think we shall be able to show, delight would no longer exist for him could from a consideration of the nature of truth he ever reach the ultimatum of wisdomas it exists for man, that they are most pre- the Infinite. Hence progress is an essential judicial to its interests. Not, be it under- element, alike in human happiness as in stood, that we would be altogether without human wisdom; and whatever of human a pledge that the neophyte student recog- contrivance or theory professes to be final nizes those moral facts upon which moral and absolute is, by that very sign, false in truth is based; but this pledge, we conceive, position, and injurious in its tendencies. It should be of a most general character; and, is plain that creeds, formulas, and "articles" indeed, nothing more nor less than a recog- of faith, when used in the character of tests, nition of the Scriptures as a Divine revela do practically assume this character of being tion, and the rule of faith and life. For this absolute; and in that position they are maniwould imply a belief in the Lord, in his festly opposed to that progress which, we triune characters of Creator, Redeemer, and have seen, is an essential feature of the truth · Regenerator; the soul and its immortality; which is proper to humanity. But we must in a word, all the moral facts of Christianity. here meet an objection, which many, who This, we contend, is all that Truth requires may agree in our opinion as to human truth to form her best, her most intelligent and in general, will still make against it,-cordevoted adherents. To require a pledge of rectness in regard to religious or revealed absolute faith in anything more specific truth in particular. They will probably than this; thus, in any document of man's urge that the Scriptures, as being inspired invention or evolution-is, we hold, a “pre- by the Lord, are a record of divine ideas, sumptuous sin;" for, practically, it is to and thus contain absolute truths; and that elevate a merely human composition to the therefore a creed which embodies these is position and authority of holy writ, for unobnoxious to our strictures. To this we which position we will proceed to show it is answer, that the Scriptures, as the veritable necessarily unfit, and therefore impious in word of God, must indeed embody absolute its nature, and injurious in its effects. truth; that they are in some respects analo
Reminding our readers that our remarks, gous to the works of God in nature, which, though to some extent applicable to natural while they present an outward manifestation truth, have more especial reference to truth adequate for human use and comprehension, of the moral sphere, we proceed to remark that are yet inwardly full of mysteries which will, this truth, as it exists for man, is relative to all eternity, engage human investigation, merely in its quality: absolute truth is none and which in their inmost nature are “ past other than truth as it exists in the Divine finding out.” We regard the Scriptures as mind. Now, the human mind is obviously | the connecting link between heaven and man inadequate to Divine ideas. The ideas, there the medium wherein divine truth is finited fore, of which it is the subject, are relative, and made adequate to the lowest human -relative to its position and powers, such apprehension. It is a book which “the ideas being only the transcripts of things as | simple may understand in simplicity, the they appear. On the attainment, by the wise in wisdom"—which possesses an exterhuman mind, of a high position, the forms nal sense suitable for men, an internal sense and relations of things appear to be changed, I adequate to angelic apprehension, and a su