Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

EXCLAMATORY SENTENCES. GENERAL RULE.—The inflections at the note of exclamation, or admiration, as it is sometimes termed, are the same as at any other point in sentences similarly constructed. The following, for instance, require the falling inflection.

EXAMPLES. 1. How many disappointments have in their consequences saved a man from

ruin'! 2. How happy are the virtuous, who can rest under the protection of that

powerful arm, which made the earth and the heaven's ! NOTE. - When the exclamation, in form of a question, is the echo of another question of the same kind, or when it proceeds from wonder or admiration, it always requires the rising inflection.

EXAMPLE Will you for ever, Athenians, do nothing but walk up and down the city, asking one another what news'! Is there any thing more new than to see a man of Macedonia, become master of the Athenians, and give laws to all Greece'!

MEMBERS OF SENTENCES. An observation of the following rules, as to members of sentences, (though they have as before their exceptions), will be found a great assistance to the pupil.

PENULTIMATE MEMBER. The penultimate, or last member but one of a sentence, requires the rising inflection.

EXAMPLE. Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years', and a thousand years but as one day.

GENERAL MEMBERS. Those parts of a sentence which depend on adjectives, require the rising inflection.

EXAMPLE Destitute of the favour of God', you are in no better situation, with all your supposed abilities, than orphans left to wander in a trackless desert.

ANTITHETIC MEMBER. Antithesis opposes words to words, and thoughts to thoughts. RULE.—The first member of an antithesis, must end with the rising inflection.

EXAMPLE. The power of delicacy, is chiefly seen in discerning the true merit of a work; the powers of correctness, in rejecting false pretensions to merit. Delicacy leans more to feeling'; correctness more to reason and judgment. The former is more the gift of naturé; the latter, more the product of culture and art. Among the antient critics, Longinus possessed most delicacy'; Aristotle, most correctness; among the moderns, Mr. Addison is a high example of delicate taste; Dean Swift, had he written on the subject of criticism, would perhaps have afforded the example of a corr'ect one.

[ocr errors]

CONCESSIVE MEMBER. The concessive member in a sentence, is that which concedes or grants something in the beginning, in order to give a greater force afterwards to what it affirms or denies, and always requires the rising inflection.

EXAMPLE. Your enemies may be formidable by their numbers, and by their power – but he who is with you is mightier than they.

ECHOING MEMBER. Echo, is that repetition of a word, or words in a sentence, which immediately arises from a word or thought preceding it; and which, by calling the attention forcibly to the subject, has a great beauty in speaking. This requires the rising inflection, and generally much emphatic force in pronouncing it.

EXAMPLE Newton was a Christian ! Newton' ! whose mind burst forth from the fetters cast by nature on our finite conceptions,-Newton' ! whose science was truth, and the foundation of whose knowledge of it was philosophy; not those visionary and arrogant pretensions which too often usurp its name, but philosophy resting on the basis of mathematics, which, like figures, cannot lie. Newton'! who carried the line and rule to the utmost barriers of creation, and explored the principles by which, no doubt, all created matter is held together and exists.

PARENTHETIC MEMBER. RULE.-A parenthesis must be pronounced in a lower tone of voice, and a degree quicker, than the rest of the sentence; and conclude with the same inflection which terminates the member that immediately precedes it.

EXAMPLE. • Fear not them who kill the body', (says the author and finisher of our faith,) but who are not able to kill the soul.

NOTE.—The end of a parenthesis must have the falling inflection, when it terminates with an emphatical word.

EXAMPLE If ye were all agreed, that the measures then suggested were really the best; if you Eshnies, in particular, were thus persuaded, (and it was no partial affection for me that prompted you to give me up the hopes, the applause, the honors, which attended that course I then advised, but the superior force, truth, and your utter inability to point out any more eligible course',) if this was the case, I say, is it not highly cruel and unjust to arraign those measures

I now, when you could not then propose any better?

Note 2.—When the parenthesis is long, like the preceding one, it may be pronounced with a degree of sameness of tone, in order to distinguish it from the rest of the sentence.

NOTE 3.—The small intervening member, said I, said he, continued they, &c., follow the inflection and tone of the member which precedes them, in a higher and feebler tone of voice.

EXAMPLE Thus then, said he, since you are so urgent, it is thus that I conceive it. The sovereign good is that, the possession of which renders us happy. And how, said I, do we possess it?- Is it sensual, or intellectual ? There, you are entering, said he, upon the detail.

INTERMEDIATE OR ELLIPTICAL MEMBER, Is that part of a sentence which is equally related to both parts of an antithesis, but which is properly only once expressed.

EXAMPLES. 1. Must we in your person crown' the author of the public calamities, or

destroy' hím ? 2. A good man will love himself too well to lose' an estate by gaming, and

his neighbour too well to win one. In the above examples, the elliptical members, the author of the Public Calamities,” and “ an Estate by Gaming,are

, pronounced with the rising inflection, but with a higher and feebler tone of voice than the antithetic words crown and lose.

In the two following examples, the elliptical members, which are immediately after the two antithetic words, win and brain, are pronounced with the falling inflection, but in a lower toné of voice than those words.

EXAMPLES. 3. A good man will love himself too well to losé, and his neighbour too well

to win, an estate by gaming. 4. It would be in vain to enquire whether the power of imagining things

strongly, proceeds from any greater perfection in the soul, or from any

nicer texture of the brain, of one man more than another. When the intermediate member contains an emphatical word, or extends to any length, it will be necessary to consider it as an essential member of the sentence, and to pronounce it with emphasis and variety.

EXAMPLE. 5. A man would not only be an unhappy, but a rude unfinisheď creature, were he conversant with none but those of his own make.

THE ANTECEDENT AND RELATIVE. RULE 1. Personal or adjective pronouns, when antecedents, must be pronounced with accentual force, to intimate that the relative is in view, and in some measure to anticipate the pronunciation of it.

EXAMPLES. 1. He, that pursues fame with just claims, trusts his happiness to the winds;

but he, that endeavours after it by false merit, has to fear, not only the violence of the storms, but the leaks of his vessel.

[ocr errors]

2. The weakest reasoners are always the most positive in debate, and the

cause is obvious; for they are unavoidably driven to maintain their pretensions by violence, who want arguments and reason to prove

that they are right. 3. And greater sure my merit, who, to gain

A point sublime, could such a task sustain.

RULE 2. When the relative only is expressed, the antecedent being understood, the accentual force then falls upon the relative.

EXAMPLES. 1. Who does the best his circumstance allows,

Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more. 2. Who lives to nature rarely can be poor;

Who lives to fancy never can be rich. 3. What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy

The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy,

Is virtue's prize.
4. Who noble ends by noble means obtains,

Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aupelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates,—that man is great indeed.

CIRCUMFLEX. Satirical speaking requires a peculiarity of tone on those certain words which convey the force of the sarcasm, for which there is no determinate sign in rhetoric, but which may be marked by the circumflex. In such sort of passages the rising circumflex begins with the falling inflection, and ends with the rising upon the same syllable, and seems as it were to twist the voice upwards. This turn of the voice is marked in this manner (V.)

EXAMPLE. But it is foolish in us to compare Drusus, Africanus, and ourselves with Clódius; all our other calamities are tolerable, but no one can patiently bear the death of Clodius.

The falling circumflex begins with the rising inflection, and ends with the falling upon the same syllable, and seems to twist the voice downwards. This turn of the voice may be marked by the common circumflex,—thus (^)

EXAMPLE.
Queen. Hamlet, you

have
your

father much offended. Hamlet. Madam, yoû have my father much offended. Both these circumflex inflections may be exemplified in the word so, as in a speech of the clown in Shakespear's As you Like It.

I knew when seven justices could not make up a quarrel ; but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an If: as if you said so, then I said sô; 0, ho! did you šo ? so they shook hands and were sworn brothers.

FINAL INFLECTION OR CADENCE. The Final Inflection or Cadence, is that certain lowering or softening of tone, which the voice assumes at the close of a series of sentences or period, and which indicates to the ear that the paragraph or subject is finished. This fall of voice is required in a degree, at the close of every division or section of a discourse, but has a wonderful beauty at the winding up or finishing of it, as may be seen in the following

EXAMPLES. Finally, he who in the DECLINE OF LIFE preserves himself most exempt from the chagrins incident to that period, cherishes the most equal and kind affections; uses his experience, wisdom and authority in the most fatherly and venerable manner; acts under a sense of the inspection, and with a view to the approbation of his Maker ; is daily aspiring after immortality and ripening apace for it ;

and having sustained his part with integrity and consistency to the last, quits the stage with a modest and graceful triumph' ;—This is the besť, this is the happiest' old man.

And, lastly, when death shall burst asunder every earthly tie, will he shed a tear upon your grave, and lodge the dear remembrance of your mutual friendship in his heart, as a treasure never to be resignéd ?—The man who will not do this, may

be

your companion'—your flatterer—your seducerbut, believe me, he is not your friend.

RULE 1.- When the last member of a sentence ends with four accented words, the falling inflection take place on the first and last, and the rising on the second and third.

EXAMPLES. 1. The immortality of the soul is the basis of morality, and is the source

of all the pleasing' hopes' and secret' joys', that can arise in the heart

of a resonablé creaturè. 2. A bravé man struggling in the storms' of faté,

And greatly' falling with a falling' state'. 3. Produces' fraud', and cruelty' and strifé,

And robs the guilty' world' of Cato’s' life'. RULE 2.-When there are three accented words at the end of the last member, the first has either the rising and falling, the second the rising, and the last the falling inflection.

EXAMPLE. Cicero con des his celebrated books De Oratore, with some precepts for pronunciation and action, without which part he affirms, that the best orator in the world can never succeed, and an indifferent one, who is master of this, shall gain much' greater applausè.

SERIES, The term series, is applied to designate those kind of sentences, which contain an enumeration of particulars ; and which according to their formation are differently named, as simple, compound, &c., viz:

Sentences whose members consist of single words, are called a simple series.

« AnteriorContinua »