Sidor som bilder

Or to take up arms against a sea of troub-les,

And, by op-po-sing, end them? Remark. It is not to be understood, that the emphatick force falls in equal degrees upon every word or syllable here italicised. Although several emphatick words frequently suc. ceed each other, yet seldom, if ever, should any two or more words in succession, receive precisely the same amount or weight of percussive force, any more than they should receive the same modulation of tone and inflection. Of the words distinguished as emphatical, in the last of the preceding examples, doubtless the first that are contrasted, namely, “Suf-fer” and "take up arms” require the greatest stress, and "for-tune" and "troub-les,” the least,—a stress so slight, indeed, as scarcely to raise these words to the dignity of emphatical words.

Emphasis is sometimes divided into Simple and Compound.

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SIMPLE AND COMPOUND EMPHASIS. When the emphatick force falls on only one word in a phrase, it is called Simple Emphasis; but when it falls on more than one word in succession, it is denominated Compound Emphasis.

Examples of Simple Emphasis. It is as natural to die, as to be born: to an infant, perhaps the one is as painful as the oth-er.

Let an-oth-er man praise thee, and not thy own mouth.

O that those lips had lang-uage [as well as ex-pres-sion.] See page 195.

Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'-d, shall reap, the field.

Examples of Compound Emphasis. Napoleon would have en-slave-d the land to make the o-cean free; and he wanted only pow-er to enslave both.

It is easier to forgive the weak, who have injured us, than the pow-erful, whom we have injured.

Ped-antry prides herself on being wrong by rules; while com-mon sense is contented to be right with-out them.

The contem-pla-tion of death as the wa-ges of sin, is ho-ly and re-lig-ious; but the fear of it as a trib-ute due to na-ture,

is weak. • In proportion as the ancestors of the profligate were distin1 guished for their virtues, are the latter disgraced by their


O death! the good man's dearest friend; [but the bad man's greatest en-emy.]

Ill fares the land, to hast’-ning ills a prey,
Where wealth ac-cu-mulates, and men de-cay.
Princ-es and lords may flour-ish, or may fade;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made;
But a bold peas-antry, their country's pride,
When once de-stroy'-d, can nev-er be sup-pli’-d.

It has been mentioned, that emphasis, considered in reference to the different words on which it falls, admits of various degrees of percussive force, as well as of various qualities in regard to inflection and intonation. This difference in emphatick force, which, according to their meaning and rhetorical relations, is demanded by the various, emphatick words of a sentence or discourse, has induced some writers to adopt another division of emphasis, distinguished by the terms Superiour and Inferiour. This division of the subject, however, like that of Simple and Compound, can by no means be regarded as remarkable for precision or scientifick accuracy; but, as it is regarded by many who have not leisure for scientifick research and phi. losophical accuracy, as a convenient distinction, answering all ordinary, practical purposes, it may be proper to notice it.


The term SUPERIOUR EMPHASIS is applied to that stronger percussion of the voice which is given to some emphatick words than to others, in order to distinguish it from that less forcible stress

which those others take, and which is thence calli ed the INFERIOUR EMPHASIS.


I an tor-tured even to mad-ness, when I THINK

of the proud vic-tor. In reading this passage, which occurs in Addison's Cato, as the language in which Marcus expresses his indignation at the conduct of Cesar, the superiour emphasis falls on “think," which word is contrasted with the implied word hear or dis. course: thus, “I am tor-tured even to MAD-ness, not only when I hear or dis-course of Cesar, but even when I THINK of him.” A little attention to the passage, will also show, that the word “madness” requires no very slight degree of percussive force, although a stress inferiour to that given to “think;" and, likewise, that “tortured,” “proud,” and “victor," require each a degree of force still slighter than that laid upon “madness," but stronger than that which is given to the other words of the sentence.

Various degrees of emphatick force are also requisite in pronouncing the following sentences, in which the different degrees are imperfectly shown by the various sizes of type employed.


Justice is LAME, as well as blind, among us.

Tem-perance, by for-tifying the mind. and body, leads to HAP-piness: in-temperance, by e-ner-vating them, generally ends in Mis-ery.

Hamlet.--Saw WHOM?
Horatio.-My lord, the king, your fa-ther.
Hamlet.-—The KING, my FA-ther?
Cassius.—I denied you not.
Brulus.-You DID.
Cassius.-- I did not: he was but a FOOL

That brought my an-swer back.
STRIKE, as thou didst at CE-sar! for I know,
When thou didst hate him WORST, thou lov-dst him Bet-ter
Than ever thou lov-dst Cas-sius.

The distinctive powers and qualities of the voice, described

on pages 115, 116, and 117, under the heads of Radical, Vanishing, Compound, and Median Stress, Dr. Rush has analyzed and explained, as applicable in expressing the various degrees and kinds of emphasis. The reader is therefore requested to turn again to those pages, and attentively examine the analysis there given, before he proceeds to a perusal of the following, scientifick division of this subject. This brief specimen is chiefly taken from Dr. Barber's Elocution.

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Emphasis of Radical Stress.

Examples.--- Back to thy pun-ishment,

False fu-gitive, and to thy speed add wings.
Whence and what art thou, ex-ecrable shape?

'Emphasis of Median Stress. Examples.I warn you, do not dare to lay your hand on the constitution.

Oh, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly chang-es in her circled orb.

Emphasis of Vanishing Stress.
Examples. Cassius.-I an itching palm?

Brutus.—The name of Cassius honors this corruption,

And chastisement doth therefore hide its head. Cassius.--Chas-tisement!

Emphasis of Compound Stress.
Example.--Arm, warriours, arm for fight.

Emphasis of Quantity.


I've seen yon weary winter sun

Twice forty times return;
And every time has added proofs,

That man was made to mourn.
I have no friend, save these alone,
But thee-and one above.

For a farther development of this subject, see Doctors Rush and Barber on Elocution.


It has already been hinted, that those words which fall under an emphatick stress, generally require a peculiar and an appropriate inflection, which inflection, or, most commonly, wave of the voice, is not unfrequently controlled by the emphasis.

Examples.—Did you say' it? What can I do?

It is easier to sây, than to '. - Remarks.—If these questions be pronounced in a natural and familiar manner, the words “say” and “do,” will take, the first, the rising, and the second, the falling, concrete slide of a third, with very little or no circumflex in the movements of the voice; but if the second example be properly pronounced, that is, if a strong emphasis be given to both “say” and “do,” with the rising inflection given to the close of the first, and the falling to the last, the word "say” will take the inverted unequal wave, and “do,” the direct unequal wave.

Example.—Are they He-brews'? So am I'. Are they Israelites'? So am I. Are they the seed of Ab-raham'? So am 1. Are they the ministers of Chrisť? I am MORE'.

Remarks.—Agreeably to the general rule, the pronoun “I," and the adverb “more," at the close of the four, simple, affirmative sentences here presented, should take the ordinary, falling inflection; but to give them that inflection, in these instances, would render the elocution spiritless and insipid. The emphasis, on these words, controls their inflections, and requires that “I” should take the inverted unequal wave, which closes with the rising vanish, and “more,” the direct unequal wave. For the purpose of increasing the harmony of the sentences by introducing a pleasing variety, some might prefer, however, to give the “I” in the third sentence, the direct unequal wave.

Examples.-Lord', if thou hadst been here', my brother had not died.

I expected him to return soon-er than he did'.

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