Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

But if it fhall happen that words which have fuch a strict and intimate connexion, as not to bear even a momentary separation, are divided from one another by this cæfural paufe, we then feel a fort of struggle between the fenfe and the found, which renders it difficult to read fuch lines harmoniously. The rule of proper pronunciation in fuch cafes, is to regard only the paufe which the fenfe forms; and to read the line accordingly. The neglect of the cæ fural paufe may make the line found fomewhat unharmonioufly; but the effect would be much worfe, if the fenfe were facrificed to the found. For inftance, in the following line of Milton,

b.

"What in me is dark, « Illumine; what is low, raise and support.”

the fenfe clearly dictates the paufe after illumine, at the end of the third fyllable, which, in reading, ought to be made accordingly; though if the melody only were to be regarded, illumine fhould be connected with what follows, and the pause not made till the fourth or fixth fyllable. So in the following line of Pope's Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot,

"I fit, with fad civility I read."

The ear plainly points out the cæfural paufe as falling af ter fad, the fourth fyllable. But it would be very bad reading to make any paufe there, so as to separate sad and civility. The fense admits of no other paufe than after the fecond fyllable fit, which therefore must be the only paufe "made in reading this part of the fentence.

There is another mode of dividing fome verfes, by introducing what may be called demi-cæfuras, which require very flight paufes; and which the reader fhould manage with judgment, or he will be apt to fall into an affected

fing-fong mode of pronouncing verfes of this kind. The following lines exemplify the demi-cæfura.

"Warms' in the fun", refreshes in the breeze,
"Glows' in the ftars", and bloffoms' in the trees;
"Lives through all life", extends through all extent,
"Spreads undivided", operates' unspent."

Before the conclufion of this introduction, the Compiler takes the liberty to recommend to thofe teachers, who may favour his compilation, to exercife their pupils in difcovering and explaining the emphatic words, and the proper tones and paufes of every portion affigned them to read, previously to their being called out to the performance. These preparatory leffons, in which they fhould be regularly examined, will improve their judgment and tafte; prevent the practice of reading without attention to the subject; and establish a habit of readily discovering the meaning, force, and beauty, of every fentence they perufe.

« ForrigeFortsett »