Sidor som bilder

othe tice or discussion.* It may be proper to remark, however, max that no one who applies these points with discrimination and in judgment, ever considers any one of them as a sign for pausing

through a given or determinate length of time; but they are regarded as relative symbols for pausing, or, in other words, as signs employed to denote, not only the place for pausing, but, also, the relative time between one pause and another. Hence, the proper length of every pause, depends entirely on the structure of the passage, and the nature of the sentiments,

enunciated. Wherever the composition and the sentiments adI mit of a rapid or an accelerated movement of the voice, the

pauses, in general, should be shorter than in those instances in which a slower movement is required.

Example. The lawyer, the stranger, and the lady, all became friendly, social, and witty over their wine.

Remark.-It must be obvious to every one, that the appropriate pauses in this example, are much shorter than would be allowable in the following

Examples.-Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken.

A good, a great, a brilliant man, may fall a victim to power; but truth, and reason, and liberty, must fall with him.

She sobbed, and sighed, and turned her weeping eye

To th’lorn, lost, lonely object of her love. It should, therefore, be borne in mind, that the arbitrary marks or signs called points, are not to be considered as indicative of the precise nature and length of the respective pauses which a good elocution demands; but these, as has been already remarked, are to be regulated by the nature and character of the sentiments uttered.

Grammatical pauses have respect to the utterance of language in such a manner as merely to make the meaning intelligible; but rhetorical pauses contemplate something more: when happily and skilfully applied, their effect is to heighten

* For a brief, and, at the same time, comprehensive and practical, system of Punctuation, the reader is respectfully referred to the author's “English Grammar in familiar Lectures," page 209, and onward.

the beauty and meaning, and increase the force, of the senti. ments delivered. Rhetorical pauses may be still farther indicated by

RULE 11. A nominative noun, when unaccompanied by an adjunct, generally requires a slight pause between it and its verb; as, “Religion.. claims the first place in our hearts: reason.. has an equal demand on our heads."


fare points of fun that a short cleare

Industry.. is the guardian of innocence.
Prosperity.. gains friends, and adversity .. tries them.

America.. is full of youthful promise; Europe.. is rich in the accumulated treasures of age: her very ruins.. tell the history of times gone by, and every mouldering stone. . is a chronicle.

Some.. place the bliss in action, some, in ease;

Those . . call it pleasure, and contentment, these. Remarks.—In those places distinguished by the dots, in the foregoing examples, it would be improper to insert any one of the points of punctuation; yet nothing can be more evident to a chaste ear, than that a short pause in each of these places, tends to present the meaning in a clearer and more striking point of view than it would be without such rhetorical pause.

In the following sentence from Pope, it will be perceived that no grammatical pause is required immediately after the word “is,” yet, in order to bring out the meaning at the close with full energy and effect, a good reader would not fail to take advantage of the rhetorical pause, by throwing it in between the words “is," and "his."

Example.-On whatever side we contemplate Homer, what principally strikes us, is ... his wonderful in-VEN-tion.

The pause here described, as well as those indicated by the dots in the following examples, are usually denominated Em. PHATICK PAUSES.

EMPHATICK PAUSE. An EMPHATICK Pause is a rhetorical pause, occurring either immediately before, or after, some striking thought is uttered, to which thought the speaker wishes to direct the special attention of his hearers.


[ocr errors]

But in Rome, the same vices, the same loss of learning, virtue, and love of country, succeeded as in Greece: her generals and soldiers fought, her senators and magistrates made and enacted laws, for.. SORD-id considerations; and Rome, from a republick, became an empire, relinquished her literary eminence, her virtue, and her liberty, declined... and FELL.

And, where the future mars or makes,

The soul shall glance o'er all to be,
While sun is quenched, or system breaks,

Fixed ... in its own eternity. Remarks. In this last example, the effect will be increased by dropping the voice after the word “fixed” to an under-key. The effect is, also, sometimes wonderfully heightened by changing the key-note on the emphatick word itself, and, more especially, by protracting the sounds of the tonick elements.

The happy application of rhetorical pauses, requires the ex- ercise of no small degree of judgment and good taste; and } when thus applied, they prove faithful and powerful auxiliaries

in good delivery. No one of common discrimination, can but perceive, for example, the happy effect of the rhetorical pauses, as indicated by the dots, in the following examples, although an ordinary reader would pronounce them without any such pauses. Examples.

No useless coffin .. enclosed his breast,

Nor in sheet, nor in shroud, we bound him;
But he lay ... like a warriour taking his rest...

With his martial cloak around him.
We carved not a line, we raised not a stone,

But.. left him alone... with his glory.

The foregoing illustrations are designed merely to awaken an interest in the mind of the learner, and to direct his attention to this important subject-a subject in which he may find ample scope for the advantageous exercise of his oratorical powers.

POETRY AND VERSIFICATION. Poetry is the language of passion, or of enlivened imagination.

VERSIFICATION, in English, is the harmonious arrangement of a particular number and variety of accented and unaccented syllables, according to particular laws.

RHYME is the correspondence of the sound of the last syllable in one line, to the sound of the last syllable in another; as,

There sea-born gales their gelid wings expand

To winnow fragrance round the smiling land. BLANK Verse consists in poetical thoughts expressed in regular numbers, but without the correspondence of sound at the end of the lines which constitutes rhyme; as,

The waters slept: night's silvery veil hung low
On Jordan's bosom, and the eddies curled
Their glassy rings beneath it, like the still,

Unbroken beating of the sleeper's pulse. POETICAL FEET consist in a particular arrangement and connexion of a number of accented and unaccented syllables. They are called feet, because it is by their aid that the voice, as it were, steps along through the verse in a measured pace.

All poetick feet consist either of two, or of three, syllables; and are reducible to eight kinds; four of two syllables each, and four of three, as follows:

A Trochee has the first syllable accented, and the last un. accented; as, Hāteful, pélting:

Rēstless mõrtăls toil for nought;
Blīss on ēarth în vā in is sought;
Bliss, 5 native 8f thể sky,

Nēvěr wānděrs. An Iambus has the first syllable unaccented, and the last ac. cented; as, Bětrāy, consist:

Thẻ sẽas shall waste, the skies in smöke decay,
Rocks fall tō dūst, and mountains mēlt ăwāy;
Bŭt fíx'd his word, his sāving power rěmāins;

Thý rēalm förēvěr lāsts, thỹ own Měssiah rēigns. A Dactyle has the first syllable accented, and the last two unaccented; as, Lābourěr, possible:

From thể low plēasůres of this fållěn nātúre. An Anapæst has the first two syllables unaccented, and the last accented; as, Cóntrăvēne, acquiesce:

At the close of the dãy when the hāmlět is still,

And mõrtăls the swēēts of forgētfůlněss prove,
Whěn nõught būt the torrent is hēard on thě hill,

And põught bắt the nightîngăle's song in the grove. The Spondee; as, āmēn: a Pyrrhick; as, õn thě-tall tree: an Amphibrach; as, Dělightfül: a Tribrach; as, Nu-měrăblē.

In English versification, some of these feet are much more common than others; but not unfreqently we meet with several kinds introduced into the same piece of composition. This development of poetick numbers, also evinces the copious stock of materials at the command of the English versifier: for we are not only allowed the use of all the ancient, poetick feet, in our heroick measure, but we have duplicates of each kind, agreeing in movement, though differing in sound, and which make different impressions on the ear-an opulence peculiar to our language, and one that may be the source of a boundless variety.

By looking again at the foregoing definitions, the young reader will perceive, that the essential qualities or characteristicks of poetry, consist not, as is too often supposed, in harmon. ick numbers, or feet, or rhymes, but in a peculiar kind of sentiment and conception, called poetick thought. The peculiar nature of poetick thought, however, is not to be learned from

« FöregåendeFortsätt »