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EXAMPLE. Sooner or later virtue must meet with a reward. A change of accent takes place on words according as they are Nouns, Verbs, or Adjectives. Nouns. Verbs.
to descant. Absent (adj.), to absent.
Discount, to discount. Abstract, to abstract.
to export. Attribute, to attribute.
to extract. Augment, to augment. Exile,
to exile. Bombard, to bombard.
to ferment. Substantives. Adjectives. Substantives. Adjectives. August (the month), August (noble). In'stinct,
In l'id. Champaign, Cham'paign (open). Levant (a place) Le-vant (eastern) Exile, (banishment), Exile (small). Min'ute (of time), Minute (small) Gallant (a lover) Gallant (bold). Su'pine (in Gram.) Supine (indolent)
Sometimes the same parts of speech have a different accent to make a difference of signification. to conjure (to practise Magic). Desert (a wilderness), Desert (merit). to conjure,
(to enjoin). Sinister (insidious) Sinister(left side).
EMPHASIS. Emphasis is that stress we lay on certain words, in a sentence or passage, which more particularly convey its meaning, and which are used in contradistinction to other words either expressed or understood. In this respect, it is necessary to the correct reading of a language, as Syntax is to the writing of it; the precise meaning of what is read or written, depending respectively on pronunciation and construction. Next, therefore, to the pronunciation of words, agreeably to the politest and best mode of sound and accentuation, the young pupil should study the nature of emphasis.
The first is necessary to make his speech in general understood by polite hearers—the latter, to make his discourse or lecture understood, particularly by every one that pays him his attention. (1)
(1) Much has been written on the use and importance of emphasis, by Sheridan and other authors, from which many useful hints may be gathered. The only true guide, however, to the proper use of emphasis, must be the good sense of the reader, added to a thorough comprehension of the meaning and import of the passage to be read or spoken. “It has been generally remarked," observes Mr. Rice on the subject, “ that all persons, even the illiterate and children, pronounce or emphasize their discourse, when in earnest conversation, with great propriety; and yet that
The very different meaning attached to the same words, according to the different manner of emphasizing them, may be seen in asking the following question :
Did Brutus kill Cæsar in the Senate ? If the stress in this sentence is laid on the word Brutus, the object of the enquiry seems to be whether he, or any other of the conspirators, gave the emperor his death-blow. If on kill, it implies a doubt whether he was really assassinated or only wounded. If we emphasize the word Cæsar most strongly, we appear to ask whether it was he, or any other
person killed ; and finally, if we throw the force of the voice on the word Senate, we shift the enquiry from person to place—was he killed there or any where else?
OBSERVATIONS ON EMPHASIS. All words are pronounced either with emphatic force, accented force, or unaccented force ; which last kind of force may be called by the name of feebleness. When words are in contradistinction to other words, or some sense implied, they may be called emphatic; when they do not denote contradistinction, and yet are more important than the particles, they may be called accented ; and the particles and lesser words, may be called unaccented, or feeble.
EXAMPLE. 1. Exercise and temperance strengthen the constitution. 2. Exercise and temperance strengthen even an INDIFFERENT constitution.
The word printed in Roman capitals, is pronounced with emphatic force; those in small italics are pronounced with accented force, and the rest with unaccented force.
All emphasis expresses or implies antithesis, or an opposition of sense in the sentence or passage where it occurs ; “and hence,” says a late writer," foĪlows this general rule, Wherever there is contradistinction in the sense of the words, there ought to be emphasis in the pronunciation of them.'
EXAMPLE. As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him ; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There are tears for his love; joy for his fortune ; honor for his valour, and death for his ambition. there are few, who in reading what is written, do not differ greatly in their manner of pronouncing the same sentence; nay, some have been known to speak with great energy and propriety those very words, which being taken down and afterwards shown them, they have not been able, without much difficulty, to pronounce as they had before uttered them. From which circumstance it appears how much a reader should study to make the words and sentiments of the writer his own.” — Rice, Art of Speaking.
SINGLE EMPHASIS. When two emphatic words in antithesis with each other, are either expressed or implied, the emphasis is said to be single.
EXAMPLE 1. None more impatiently suffer injuries, than those who are most forward
in doing them. 2. Those governments which curb not evils, cause !
And a rich knave's a libel on our laws. If your person were as gigantic as your desires, the world itself would not contain you.
Your right hand would touch the east, and your left the west at the same time. You grasp at more than you are equal to. From Europe you reach to Asia, and from Asia you lay hold on Europe. And if you should conquer all mankind, you seemed disposed to wage wars with woods and snows, with rivers and wild beasts, and to attempt to subdue nature. But have you considered the usual cause of things? Have you reflected, that great trees are many years in growing to their height, and are cut down in an hour ? It is foolish to think of the fruit only, without considering the height you have to climb to come at it.
DOUBLE EMPHASIS. Emphasis is frequently required to be continued, with a little variation on two, and sometimes three words together, in which cases it is called Double Emphasis, or Treble Emphasis.
When two words are opposed to each other, and contrasted with two other words, the emphasis on such four words may
be called Double.
New Laws thou see'st impos'd,
What doubtful may ensue. 1. To err' is human ; to forgive DIVINE. 2. The prodigal robs his HEIR, the miser robs HIMSELF. 3. Justicè seems most agreeable to the nature of God', and mercy' to that of 4. Grief is the counterpassion of joy. The one' arises from AGREEABLE',
and the other from disagreable events,—the one from PLEASURE', and
the other from PAIN'; the one from GOOD', and the other from EVIL. 5. The foulest stain and scandal of our nature
Becomes its boast. One murder makes a VILLAIN,
Peace its TEN' thousands.
TREBLE EMPHASIS. When three emphatic words are opposed to three other emphatic words, in the same sentence, the emphasis is called Treble.
EXAMPLES. 1. A friend' cannot be known' in prosperity'; and an enemy' cannot be hidden
in adversity: 2. The difference between a madman and a fool, is that the former reasons
justly', from false' data ; and the latter' erroneously, from just' data. 3. The memory of the jusť is blessed"; but the name of the wicked shall rot'. 4. Flowers of rhetoric in sermons or serious discourses, are like the blue
and red flowers in corn, pleasing to those who come only for amuse
ment, but prejudicial to him who would reap the profit. 5. Man is a creature designed for two different states of being, or rather for
two different lives. The firsť life is short' and transient ; his second,
permanent and lasting'. 6. Passions' are winds' to urge us o'er the wave',
Reason' the rudder to direct and save'. NOTE.—The first of the following examples, is an instance of the single emphasis implied; the second of the single emphasis expressed ; the third, of the double emphasis; and the fourth of the treble emphasis.
EXAMPLES. 1. Exercise and temperance strengthen even an in'different constitution. 2. You were paid to fight against Alexander, and not rail at him. 3. The pleasures of the imagination are not so gross' as those of sense', nor
so refined' as those of the understanding'. 4. He raised a mortal to the skies'. She' brought an Angel' down'.
GENERAL EMPHASIS. Besides the different species of emphasis above described, there is another, which when the composition is very animated, and approaches to a close, we often lay upon several words in succession. This kind of emphatic force, may be called General Emphasis, and is not so much regulated by the sense of the author, as by the taste and feelings of the reader, and therefore does not admit of any general rule.
-What men could do,
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent. In this example, if the words marked as emphatic are pronounced properly, and with a short and distinct rest after each, it is inconceivable the force that will be given to these few words. This general emphasis, it may be observed, has identity for its object, the antithesis to which is appearance, similitude, or the least possible diversity.
PAUSE. There are two kind of pauses, viz., Grammatical pauses, and Rhetorical pauses. Grammatical pauses, or stops, as they are more generally called, are denoted by certain marks or points ;
as the comma, semicolon, colon, period, &c., the intention and
, nature of which, being supposed to be familiar to all who have made the smallest progress in reading, it is unnecessary to notice further here. The Rhetorical pauses, are those stops made by a reader or speaker, which though frequently not marked, serve to embellish delivery, by giving it all the ease and variety of which it is capable, and the length, as well as introduction whereof, must in a great measure depend upon his own taste and judgment.
When Rhetorical pauses are introduced in printing, they are marked by a hyphen or dash—thus :
-To die—to sleep-
Must give us pauseBesides these, however, there are as we have just observed, numerous Rhetorical pauses used in reading, which are not marked, and which must be supplied by the reader's own feeling and sense of propriety. To attempt to give many rules for such, we conceive more calculated to puzzle, than forward the pupil, and particularly so as their length, situation, and necessity, must depend upon circumstances.
The following few hints, may however, prove of some use :
Pause after the nominative when it consists of more than one word. 1. The experience of want-enhances the value of plenty. 2. To practice virtue—is the sure way to gain it.
Or a pause may be made after a nominative when consisting only of one word, if it be a word of importance. 1. Adversity—is the school of piety. 2. The fool-hath said in his heart, there is no God.
When a member of a sentence comes between a nominative and a verb, it must be separated from both of them by a short pause. 1. Trials—in this state of being—are the lot of man. 2. Honest endeavours—if persevered in—will finally be successful.
Who, which, when in the nominative case, and the pronoun, that, when used for who, or which, require a short pause before them. 1. Death is the season—which brings our affections to the test. 2. A man can never be obliged to submit to any power, unless he can be
satisfied—who is the person that has a right to exercise it.