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When a sentence consists of two or more members, the last member but one, takes the rising, and all the rest, the falling, inflection; as, “He fought the Scythian in his cave', and the unconquered Arab fled before him;" He won', divided', and ruled nearly all of modern Europe';" “The minor longs to be of age'; then to be a man of business'; then to make up an estate'; then to arrive at honours'; then to retire!”
The first ingredient in conversation is truth'; the next, good sense'; the third', good humour'; the last', wit.
Nature rendered him incapable of improving by all the rules of eloquence', the precepts of philosophy', his father's endeavours', and the most refined society of Athens'.
Nature has laid out all her art in beautifying the face. She has touched it with vermilion'; planted in it a double row of ivory'; made it the seat of smiles and blushes'; lighted it up and enlivened it with the brightness of the eyes'; hung it on each side with curious organs of sense'; given it airs and graces that cannot be described'; and surrounded it with such a flowing shade of hair as sets all its beauties in the most agreeable light.
Many of the tyrants that opposed the christian religion', . have long since gone to their own place'; their names have descended upon the roll of infamy'; their empires have passed', like shadows', over the rock'; they have successively disappeared', and left not a trace behind'.
EXCEPTION 1. When a sentence consists of only two mem. bers, the first often requires the falling inflection, especially if , it end with an emphatick word; as, “His part was invented by himself\, and was terribly unique'.” “He would have enslaved the land to make the ocean free', and he wanted only power to enslave both'.” EXCEPTION 2. When the sense of any member or members
of a sentence, is suspended, and depends for its completion on a succeeding member, such incomplete member or members generally require the rising inflection-and the suspending pause; as, “As we cannot discern the shadow moving along the dial-plate', so the advances we make in knowledge', are per. ceivable only by the distance gone over';” “If thy brother of fend thee', thou shalt forgive him!.”
But the principle contained in this exception, though generally correct, and, so far, very important to the oratorical student, is sometimes reversed by the controlling power of empha. sis; as is illustrated by the following examples:—“One who frequently associates with the vile', though he may not become actually base', is sure to gain an ill name';" “The man who is in the daily habit of using ardent spirits', if he do not become a drunkard', is in danger of losing his health and character'.”
Out of the nettle danger', we pluck the flower thistlei.
As in water face answereth to face', so doth the heart of man to man'.
As fame is but breath', as riches are transitory', and as life itself is uncertain', it becomes us to seek a better portion'.
If riches corrupt thee', thy virtue is blasted'. .
Whatever tends to promote the principles of virtue', and strengthen the bands of brotherhood' -whatever tends to calm the ruffled feelings', and regulate the passions', is undoubtedly a source of happiness'.
If we have no regard for religion in youth', we seldom have any respect for it in age'.
Remark. In this last example, that “we have no regard for religion in youth,” is entirely supposititious; but in the fol. lowing construction, that fact is conceded, and the inflections of both members are reversed.
If we have no regard for religion in youth', we ought to have some respect for it in age'.
# This demonstrates the necessity of a constant exercise of
good judgment and correct taste, in order to make the proper a inflections.
Example.—The solicitude about the grave', may be but the i offspring of an overwrought sensibility'; but human nature is e made up of foibles and prejudices'. '
Remark. If, in reading this sentence, the superiour emphasis be allowed to fall on made up, and the inferiour, with a
circumflex, upon “foibles and prejudices,” the sentence will e close with the rising inflection, in accordance with the Excepi tion to Rule 1.
And again your steps pursuel.
A sense of kindred', country', man', impressed'.
rules on this, or any other, subject, tends to embarrass and perplex the learner, and, in a measure, defeat the object secured by a less number, judiciously selected and arranged. Notwithstanding that the happy application of the foregoing rules, requires no small degree of judgment and taste, both on account of their liability to be misconceived, and in consequence of the numer. ous exceptions (besides those already pointed out) which ought to be, and which, without detriment to a good elocution, might be, made to them, it is believed, that a careful observance of them will prove highly beneficial to such as are anxious to at. tain an elegant and an accurate style in reading and speaking.
In elocution, as in every other department of science which pertains to language, there are not wanting, at least, a few, leading, fixed principles, which may be laid down as landmarks in the form of rules, and prove highly serviceable to the novi. ciate, to guide him on his way to excellence in this department of learning: but because rules have their exceptions, it is no good reason why they should be rejected. There are few rules in any science (except the exact sciences) which have not their exceptions. Therefore, to reject them, on this ground, would be to do away all science. But an unnecessary and an unreasonable multiplicity of rules, is an opposite extreme, equally to be avoided.
The following rules being deemed of minor importance, and admitting, also, of a greater number of exceptions than the foregoing, it has been thought most appropriate to present them in the form of NOTES.
A SERIES denotes a succession of similar or opposite particulars, words, or portions of a sentence, following each other in the same construction. A series may be single, double, triple, or compound. It most frequently occurs either at the commencement, or at the close, of a compound sentence.
By Mr. Walker, the various kinds of series are reduced to three general divisions:
1. The SIMPLE SERIES.
3. The SERIES OF SERIES. In the delivery of almost every separate portion of a sentence, a chaste and an appropriate elocution requires, that the tones
and the inflections of the voice should be varied; but far more * necessary is this variation where the sentence is so constructed
that perfectly similar portions succeed each other to a consid
erable extent. To attempt to lay down rules by which to rega ulate the voice in all its appropriate modulations and inflec
tions—by which to mark the definite character of every tone, the exact direction of every wave or concrete vanish, or the precise extent of every upward and downward slide, would be worse than idle; for such directions, as far as they would produce any effect, would prove highly pernicious, as they would lead to a stiff, formal, artificial enunciation—an enunciation the most execrable that scholastick dulness could invent. But not.
withstanding the absurdity of such an extreme as the one here i alluded to, something may be effected by the observance of a á few rules judiciously arranged and cautiously applied, by their
pointing out the most harmonious and agreeable variety that ? may be adopted in the enunciation of the different kinds of se.
ries. If they merely prevent that tasteless and unendurable Emonotonous manner so often exhibited in the pronunciation of
such constructions, they effect, not merely a negative, but a pos. itive, good.
A SIMPLE SERIES consists of two or more single words or particulars, following each other in the į same construction, either in commencing or in closding a sentence. Į NOTE 1. When a sentence commences with two particulars, ► the first may have the falling, and the second, the rising, in
flection. Example: “Exercise' and temperancel strengthen the di constitution.”