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the same time presenting one at him, "oh! here's wan that I am shure will shoot you, sir!" "Indeed! madam," replied the witling, walking leisurely away, "then upon my honor I'll not have anything to do with it."

The best method of acquiring a just pronunciation, is to study those lexicographers who have written most ably upon the subject,* and to observe and follow the manner in which persons of education, and those in polished society, pronounce their words.


Accent consists in laying a particular stress on a certain syllable, or the syllables of a word, which gives such syllable or syllables, force, and marks the grammatical form.

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The change of accent altering the part of speech from a substantive to a verb.

Emphasis alters the regular seat of accent.


Some poets may be compared with others, but Milton and Shaks. peare are in'comparable.

The regular accent would be incom'parable.


Emphasis produces a primary beauty of oratory; it gives the nice distinctions of meaning, the refined conceptions which language is capable of expressing, and imparts a force and harmony to composition which its absence would render lifeless, and frequently unintelligible.

* See Walker's Critical Pronouncing Dictionary.

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The following question will prove the great nicety and utility of emphasis; for the mode of emphasising it, will give four different meanings: Do you go to Europe this year?" If the question be asked without a stress on any particular word, the replicant may say yes, or no; if on you, he may say no, I send. If on Europe, he may say no, to India. If on this year, he may say no, next year. The best rule for emphasising justly, is to study the true meaning of the author, and lay the stress upon such words as you would make impressive, were you conversing upon the same subject. The following examples will sufficiently elucidate the force and beauty of Emphasis.

"It must be so-Plato thou reason'st well-
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?

Or whence this secret dread and inward horror
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us;

'Tis heav'n itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.

Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought
Thro' what variety of untry'd being,

Thro' what new scenes and changes must we pass?
The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there's a pow'r above us,
And that there is, all nature cries aloud
Thro' all her works, he must delight in virtue;
And that which he delights in, must be happy.

But when? or where ?-This world was made for Cæsar.
I'm weary of conjectures-this must end 'em.

Thus am I doubly arm'd. My death and life,

My bane and antidote are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point:
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age and nature sink in years:
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,

The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds."


"The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: It is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above the scepter'd sway,

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself:

And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice."


"And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, there were two men in one city; the one rich and the other poor.

"The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds;

"But the poor man had nothing save one little ewe-lamb, which he had bought and nourished up; and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drink of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

"And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

"And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, as the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die;

"And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

"And Nathan said to David, thou art the man."


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A climax is a figure in rhetoric, which rises in force and dignity of expression with the sense, and is productive of much grandeur and effect. The rule for reading or speaking a climax, is to raise the voice progressively with the subject, until you come to its close. Examples.

"The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temple-"


"Sudden the heart

Of this young, conquering, loving, god-like Roman



"Days, months, years, and ages,-" "What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how in finite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a God!" HAMLET.

"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit, also, upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High !"


This figure, the reverse of the Climax, frequently imparts force, beauty, and pathos to language. It should be read or spoken by commencing the subject in the middle tone of voice, then subduedly and progressively letting it fall until you come to the termination of the passage.


"In helpless, hopeless, brokenness of heart."
"That fires not, wins not, weeps not now."



"Were I an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms, never, never, never."


On the Inflections of the Voice.

Perhaps this may be a proper place to remark upon one of the most persuasive ornaments of reading and speaking, which is modulation. All the variations of the human voice spring from five inflections. The first of which, however paradoxical it may seem, is monotone, the second the rising, and the third the falling inflection, the fourth the falling, and the fifth the rising. High and low, loud and soft, quick and slow, may be considered comparative modifications, as what is high in one case may be low in another, and so of the rest.

Examples of Monotone, and of the rising and falling


"Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,

Rising or falling



Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!"


Examples of the falling and rising Inflections.

"The tear,

The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier,
And all we know, or dream, or fear—”

An excursion on the highway may as clearly as any other way, point out the five inflections of the voice. Monotone being the first, we will suppose the smooth, level way, and as we cannot always have smooth level ways, we will suppose our next change to be an acclivity, which we will call the rising inflection. When we shall have reached the summit, we will suppose that we shall have to descend, which we will call the falling inflection. At the foot of the hill, we meet a level spot, which as above, we will call monotone. After travelling some distance on this level, we arrive at a descent which we will term the falling inflection; at the foot of which we have a hill, which we will call the fifth or rising inflection, and these straight forward, and up and down, down and up, and continual equalities and inequalities, form our road through life, and afford a species of elucidation of the five inflections of the human voice.


Suspension, which may be considered of two kinds, the protracted and the slight, is when properly managed, one of the most effective things in eloquence; it impresses the auditor, elicits his attention, and calls forth his applause. A good orator may hold an audience almost breathless under its influence. But care should be taken not to use the protracted suspensive pause, but

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