Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

4. The vocative* case without strong emphasis, when it is a respectful call to attention, expresses no sense completed, and comes under the in Alection of the suspending pause ; as,

Mén, brethren, and fáthers,-hearken.” “ Friends, Rómans, countrymen !-lend me your ears."

5. The parenthesis commonly requires the same inflection at its close, while the rest of it is often to be spoken in the monotone ; as,

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law, that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth ?"

An exception may apply to the general principle of this rule, whenever one voice is to represent two persons, thus ;

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto thein, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and fillèd ; not withstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the bódy; what doth it pròfit? Here the sense is entirely suspended to the close, and yet the clause introduced as the language of another, requires the falling slide.

Another exception, resting on still stronger ground, occurs where an antithetic clause requires the intensive falling slide on some chief word, to denote the true meaning: as in the following example, -“The man who is in the daily use of ardent spirit, if he does not become a drunkard, is in danger of losing his health and character." In this periodic sentence, the meaning is not formed till the close ; and yet the falling slide must be given at the end of the second member, or the sense is subverted; for the rising slide on drunkard would imply that his becoming such, is the only way to preserve health and character.

RULE V. Tender emotion generally inclines the voice to the rising slide.

Grief, compassion, and delicate affection, soften the soul, and are uttered in words, invariably with corresponding qualities of voice.

Hence the vocative case, when it expresses either affection or delicate respect, takes the rising slide; as,

“ Jesus saith unto her, Máry.” “ Jesus saith unto him, Thomas."
"Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.”—“Sírs, what must I do to be
saved?"
The same slide prevails in pathetic poetry.

Thus with the year,
Seasons return; but not to me returns

* I use this term as better suiting my purpose than that of our grame marians,-nominative independent.

Dáy, or the sweet approach of év'n or mórn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flóeks, or hérds, or human face divine ,
But cloud instead, and ever during dark

Surround me So in the beautiful little poem of Cowper, on the receipt of his mother's picture

My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast déad,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shéd?
Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing són,
Wretch even thén, life's journey just begún ?
I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse, that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nurs’ry window, drew

A long, long sigh, and wept a last adièu. Rule VI. The rising slide is commonly used at the last

pause but one in a sentence. The reason is, that the ear expects the voice to fall when the sense is finished; and therefore it should rise for the sake of variety and har

pause that precedes the cadence.-Ex, “The minor longs to be at age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estàte, then to arrive at honórs, then to retire.” lives, (says Seneca,) are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do."

mony, on the

66 Our

Falling Inflection. So instinctively does bold and strong passion express itself by this turn of voice, that, just so far as the falling slide becomes intensive, it denotes emphatic force. The VIII.

. IX. and X. rules will illustrate this remark.

Rule VII. The indirect question, or that which is not answered by yes or no, has the falling inflection; and its answer has the same. As,

What, Tubero, did that naked sword of yours mean, in the battle of Pharsàlia ? At whose breast was its point aimed? What was the meaning of your arms, your spirit, your eyes, your hánds, your ardour

of sòul:

Who

say the people that I am ? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say that one of the old pròphets is risen again.Where is bòasting then? It is excluded.Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? The infernal sèrpent.

The want of distinction in elementary books, between that sort of question which turns the voice upward, and that which turns it downward, must have been felt by every teacher even of children.

RULE VIII. The language of authority, of surprise, and of distress, is commonly uttered with the falling inflection.

1. The imperative mood, as used to express the com mands of a superior, denotes that energy of thought which usually requires the falling slide; as,

Uzziel ! half these draw off and coast the south,
With strictest watch; these other, wheel the north.-

- Ithuriel and Zephon! with winged speed
Search through this gården; leave unsearch'd no nòok.
Up, comrades ! up !-in Rokeby's halls

Ne'er be it said our courage falls.
2. Denunciation and reprehension, on the same principle,
commonly require the falling inflection; as,

Wo unto you, Pharisees! Wo unto you, lawyers! But God said unto him, thou fdol !—this night thy soul shall be required of thee. But Jesus said, Why tèmpt ye me, ye hypocrites ? Paul said to Elymas, O full of all subtlety, and all mischief! Thou child of the Devil, -thou enemy of all righteousness !

Hènce —hòme, you idle creatures, get you home.

You blocks, you stònes ! You worse than senseless things! This would be tame indeed, should we place the unem phatic, rising slide on these terms of reproach, thus:

You blócks, you stónes, you worse than senseless things!

3. Exclamation, when it does not express tender emotion, nor ask a question, inclines to adopt the falling slide. Terror expresses itself in this way; as,

Àngels! and ministers of grace,-defend us.
Exclamation, denoting surprise, or reverence, or distress, or a

[ocr errors]

combination of these different emotions, generally adopts the falling slide. For this reason I suppose that Mary, weeping at the sepulchre, when she perceived that the person whom she had mistaken for the gardener, was the risen Saviour himself, exclaimed with the tone of reverence and surprise,–Rabbòni! And the same inflection probably was used by the leprous men when they cried Jésus, Màster! have mer. cy on us; instead of the colloquial tone Jésus, Máster, which is commonly used in reading the passage, and which expresses nothing of the distress and earnestness which prompted this cry. These examples are distinguished from the vocative case, when it merely calls to attention, or denotes affection.

Rule IX. Emphatic succession of particulars requires the falling slide. The reason is, that a distinctive utterance is necessary to fix the attention on each particular; as,

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaùnteth not itself; is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unsèemly: seeketh not her own; is not easily provóked; thinketh no evil.Thrice was I beaten with ròds; once was I stoned; thrice I suffered shipwréck; a night and a day have I been in the deep.

In each of these examples, all the pauses except the last but one, (for the sake of harmony,) require the downward slide.

Note 1. When the principle of emphatic series interferes with that of the suspending slide, one or the other prevails, according to the degree of emphasis ; as,

Though I have the gift of prophècy, and understand all mysteries, and all know ledge ; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

The pains of getting, the fear of losing, and the inability of enjóying his wealth, have made the miser a mark of satire, in all ages.*

Note 2. Emphatic succession of particulars grows intensive as it goes on; that is, on each succeeding emphatic word, the slide has more stress, and a higher note, than on the preceding; thus,

you,

world,

I tell you, though

though all the

though an angel

heaven,

from

should declare the truth of it, I could not believe it.

* All rules of inflection as to a series of single words, when unemphatic, are in my opinion, worse than useless. No rule of harmonic inflection, that is independent of sentiment, can be established with

The rising slide, on the contrary, as it occurs in an emphatic series of direct questions, rises higher on each particular, as it proceeds.

Rule X. Emphatic repetition requires the falling slide.

Whatever inflection is given to a word, in the first instance, when that word is repeated with stress, it demands the falling slide. Thus in Julius Cæsar, Cassius says;

You wròng me every way, you wròng me, Brutus. The word wrong is slightly emphatic, with the falling slide, in the first clause; but in the second, it requires a double or triple force of voice, with the same slide on a higher note, to express the meaning strongly. But the principle of this rule is more apparent still, when the repeated word changes its inflection. Thus I ask one at a distance, Are you going to Bóston? If he tells me that he did not hear my question, I repeat it with the other slide, Are you going to Bèston? *

Rule XI. The final pause requires the falling slide.

That dropping of the voice which denotes the sense to be finished, is so commonly expected by the ear, that the worst readers make a cadence of some sort, at the close of a sentence. In respect to this, some general faults may be guarded against, though it is not possible to tell in absolute terms what a good cadence is, because, in different circumstances, it is modified by different principles of elocution. The most common fault in the cadence of bad speakers, consists in dropping the voice too uniformly to the

2

$

out too much risk of an artificial habit, unless it be this one, that the voice should rise at the last pause before the cadence; and even this may be superseded by emphasis.

* In colloquial language, the point I am illustrating is quite familiar to every ear. The teacher calls a pupil by name in the rising inflection, and not being heard, repeats the call in the falling. The answer to such a call, if it is a mere response, is “ Sir;”-if it expresses doubt, it is 6 Sír." A question that is not understood is repeated with a louder voice and a change of slide: “ Is this your book ? Is this your book?' Little children with their first elements of speech, make this distinction perfectly.

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »