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phasis like accent is a stress laid on syllables, and usually on the same syllables which take the accent. When however the claims of accent come into conflict with those of emphasis, the former must yield; as “He must increase, but I must decrease.” “ This mortal shall put on immortality.” Of the two, then, it is obvious that Emphasis holds the higher rank.
The following are the purposes for which Emphasis is mainly used. First, to distinguish words which are specially significant, either in themselves considered, or from the relation in which they stand. Secondly, to mark the antithetic relation existing between the words composing a sentence, or the ideas embraced in it. Thirdly, to make the sense of an elliptical sentence obvious, as addressed to the ear; and fourthly to mark the syntax, in cases where words holding a close grammatical relation are separated by parentheses and interposed clauses. The occasions for emphasis then are of constant recurrence ;-either of these circumstances serving as a sufficient reason for its use. And emphasis is often required on several words in succession, constituting a phrase or member of a sentence. How then can emphasis be defined ? In what does it consist ? and what are the means by which it is executed ?
Emphasis may be defined— The EXPRESSIVE but occasional distinction of syllables, and consequently of the words of which they form a part. The degree of distinction which is essential to constitute emphasis but slightly exceeds the natural accent; but the higher forms of emphasis are strongly marked, and by whatever means this distinction is imparted to the word, its character cannot be mistaken. The dash placed under the word is the visible symbol
of emphasis in writing, as a change of type is in printing; the italic letter marking the slighter degrees of emphasis, and the capital the stronger. Good taste directs that these symbols which are addressed to the eye should rarely be used: and thus it is left to the discrimination of the reader alone to determine the place of the emphasis, as well as the kind of emphasis to be employed.
The object of emphasis being to distinguish some words from others for the purpose of giving them more importance in utterance, it is clear that whatever will serve to arrest the ear and fix the attention upon a word performs this office; and this may be done by the use of any of the following elements, explained in the last chapter ;—to wit, Time, the various kinds of Stress, Pitch both concrete and discrete, the Waves, Force, and several of the modifications of Quality, as the term is applied to the voice. We proceed to give a few examples of these different kinds of emphasis, in the order in which the elements employed were introduced to the learner, in the last chapter. And here the fact must force itself upon the attention, that if emphasis can be given in so varied a manner, all apology for monotony in spirited delivery is at once removed. In no department of observation do we find that nature has lavished her gifts in greater profusion, than in furnishing the materials of an effective delivery.
I. TEMPORAL EMPHASIS. The element of Time or Quantity, though never disconnected from all other elements which contribute to emphasis, is yet the predominant characteristic in the expression of serious dignity. It can be given only on syllables which admit of indefinite extension.
EXAMPLES. * 1. Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll. 2. Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquished. 3.
For soon expect to feel
So spake the seraplı Abdiel, faithful found
II. EMPHASIS OF STRESS. Among the modes of distinguishing syllables are the different modes of stress; and these are varied both with the sentiment, and with the character of the syllable on which the stress is to be employed
EXAMPLES Radical Emphasis.--This form of Emphasis is suited to the expression of anger and all the violent emotions; and is the one usually employed in rapid utterance. The Radical is the only kind of stress which immutable syllables will bear, but it may be given on syllables of indefinite time. 1. The prison of his tyr-anny who reigns
By our delay. 2.
Back to thy pun-ishment, False fugitive. 3. The universal cry is—Let us march against Philip, let us fight
for our lib-erties—let us con-quer or die!
* NOTE TO THE TEACHER.-In the exercises of this section, the learner should first be permitted to employ his own skill in execution. Afterwards he may read them with his teacher.
Median Emphasis. This form of Emphasis is more dignified than the last, and is consequently well suited to the expression of lofty and sublime sentiments, and to the language of veneration and prayer. It can be given only on syllables of indefinite quantity. 1. Wonder not, sovereign Mistress, if perhaps
Thou canst, who art sole wonder! 2. Oh swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly chan-ges in her circling orb. 3. Hail, ho-ly light, offspring of Heaven first-born!
Or of the Eternal co-eternal beam
May I express thee unblamed ? 4. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults.-Res-tore
thou them that are penitent.
Vanishing Emphasis.—This form of Emphasis usually expresses impatience, angry complaint, or some other modification of ill humor. It is especially adapted to hasty interrogation, and may be given on any but the immutable syllables.—The tent scene between Brutus and Cassius furnishes numerous examples of this. 1. Brutus. Let me tell you, Cassius, you your-self
Are much condemned to have an itching palm;
You know that you are Bru-tus that speak this,
Or, by the Gods, this speech were else your last.
And chas-tisement doth therefore hide his head.
2. Brutus. Must I give way and room to your rash choler ?
Shall I be frighted when a mad-man stares ?
3. Hamlet. Saw who?
Horatio. My lord, the King, your father.
Compound Emphasis.- This consists in an application of the compound stress to a syllable of indefinite time; and is the most forcible form of emphatic stress.-It is particularly appropriate to the forcible expression of earnest or angry interrogation.
1. Arm, warriors, arm for fight.
To outface me by leaping in her grave ?
III. EMPHASIS OF PITCH. The melody of unimpassioned discourse consists of a succession of syllables, whose concrete movement is only through a single tone, the discrete movement from syllable to syllable being also through the same interval. This is called the Diatonic melody. Any deviation from this movement, like a slide or a skip through a third, fifth, or octave, on any syllable, would most obviously produce such a distinction as to answer the purpose of emphasis, and that whether this movement were upward or downward, whether concrete or discrete. As the rising and falling movements of the voice have different expressions, they will be treated separately.
1. EMPHASIS OF THE RISING INTERVALS.
The appropriate expression of the rising intervals is interrogation. This subject has been introduced to the learner in Sec. V, of Chap. I; and will be further discussed under the head of Expression. But beside the in- . terrogative expression, the rising movements both of a third