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If thus : 'Do you ride to town to-day?" answer, "No, we intend to walk.'
Do you ride to town to-day?" "No, we ride into the country
Do you ride to town to-day ? No, but we shall to-morrow.'
In like manner, in solemn discourse, the whole force and beauty of an expression often depend on the emphatic word ; and we may present to the hearers quite different views of the sentiment, by placing the emphasis differently. In the following words of our Saviour, observe in what different lights the thought is placed, according as the words are pronounced.
Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss ? ? "Betrayest thou,' makes the reproach turn on the infamy of treachery. Betrayest thou,' makes it rest upon Judas's connexion with his master. 'Betrayest thou the Son of man,' rests it upon our Saviour's personal character and eminence. Betrayest thou the Son of man with ́a kiss ?' turns it upon his prostituting the signal of peace and friendship, to the purpose of destruction.
Emphasis is said by some to consist of two kinds, the simple, and the complex emphasis. Simple, when it serves to point out only the plain meaning of any proposition : complex, when, besides the meaning, it marks also some affection or emotion of the mind ; or gives a meaning to words, which they would not have in their usual acceptation. In the former case, emphasis is scarcely more than a stronger accent, with little or no change of tone ;' when it is complex, besides force, there is always superadded a manifest change of tone.
Emphasis, besides its other offices, is the great regulator of quantity. Though the quantity of our syllables is fixed, in words separately pronounced, yet it is mutable, when these words are ranged in sentences ;-the long being changed into short, the short into long, according to the importance of the words with regard to meaning : and as it is by emphasis only, that the meaning can be pointed out, emphasis must be the regulator of the quantity.
Emphasis changes, not only the quantity of words and syllables, but also, in particular cases, the seat of the ac
cent. This is demonstrable from the following examples : 'He shall increase, but I shall décrease.' "There is a difference between giving and forgiving.' 'In this species of composition plansibility is much more essential than próbability. In these examples, the emphasis requires the accent to be placed on syllables, to which it does not commonly belong.
In order to acquire the proper management of the emphasis, the great rule, and indeed the only rule, possible to be given, is, that the speaker or reader study to attain a just conception of the force and spirit of the sentiments which he is to pronounce. For to lay the emphasis with exact propriety, is a constant exercise of good sense and attention. It is far from being an inconsiderable attainment. It is one of the greatest trials of a true and just taste, and must arise from feeling delicately ourselves, and from judging accurately, of what is fittest to strike the feelings of others,
There is one error, against which it is particularly proper to caution the learner ; namely, that of multiplying emphatical words too much. It is only by a prudent reserve in the use of them, that we can give them any weight. If they recur too often ; if a speaker or reader attempts to render everything which he expresses of high importance, by a multitude of strong emphasis, we soon learn to pay little regard to them. To crowd every sentence with emphatical words, is like crowding all the pages of a book with Italic characters, which, as to effect, is just the same as to use no such distinctions at all.
Pauses or rests, in speaking and reading, are a total cessation of the voice during a perceptible, and, in: many cases, a measurable space of time. .
There are two kinds of pauses : first, emphatical pauses; and next, such as mark the distinctions of the sense. An emphatical pause is made, after something has been said of peculiar moment, and on which we desire to fix the hearer's attention. Sometimes before such a thing is said, we usher it in with a pause of this nature. Such pauses have the same effect as a strong emphasis ; and are subject to the same rules ; especially
to the caution just now given, of not repeating them too frequently. For as they excite uncommon attention, and of course raise expectation, if the importance of the matter is not fully answerable to such expectation, they occasion disappointment and disgust.
But the most frequent and the principal use of pauses, is, to mark the divisions of the sense, and at the same time to allow the speaker to draw his breath ; and the proper and delicate adjustment of such pauses, is one of the most nice and difficult articles of delivery.
Pauses in reading and public discourse, must be formed upon the manner in which we utter ourselves in ordinary, sensible conversation ; and not upon the stiff artificial manner which we acquire, from reading books according to the common punctuation.
To render pauses pleasing and expressive, they must not only be made in the right place, but also accompanied with a proper tone of voice, by which the nature of these pauses is intimated, much more than by the length of them, which can seldom be exactly measured.
Tones are different both from emphasis and pauses ; consisting in the modulation of the voice, the notes or variations of sound which we employ, in the expression of our sentiments.
VERSIFICATION is the arrangement of a certain number and variety of syllables, according to certain laws.
Rhyme is the correspondence of the last sound of one verse, to the last sound or syllable of another. Feet and pauses are the constituent parts of verse.
All feet used in poetry consist either of two, or of three syllables ; and are reducible to eight kinds ; four of two syllables, and four of three, as follows :
A PyrrhicuU A Tribrachu uu A Trochee has the first syllable accented, and the last unaccented : as, 'Hateful, péttish.'
There are two sorts of POETICAL PAUSES, one for sense, and one for melody, perfectly distinct from each other. The former may be called sentential, the latter, harmonic pauses. · The sentential pauses are those which are known to us by the name of stops, and which have names given them; as the comma, semicolon, colon, and period.
The harmonic pauses may be subdivided into the final pause and the cæsural pause. These sometimes coincide with the sentential pause, and sometimes have an independent state, that is, exist where there is no stop in the sense.
The final pause takes place at the end of the line, closes the verse, and marks the measure: the cæsural divides it into equal or unequal parts.
Melody, harmony, and expression, are the three great objects of poetic numbers. By melody, is meant, a pleasing effect produced on the ear, from an aptarrangement of the constituent parts of verse, according to the laws of measure and movement. By harmony, an effect produced by an action of the mind, in comparing the different members of a verse with each other, and perceiving a due and beautiful proportion between them. By expression, such a choice and arrangement of the constituent parts of verse, as serve to enforce and illustrate the thought or the sentiment.
PUNCTUATION is the art of dividing written composi tion into sentences, or parts of sentences, by points ot stops, in order to mark the different pauses, which the sense, and an accurate pronunciation, require.
An adjunct or imperfect phrase is a part of a sentence; which contains no assertion, and does not amount to a proposition ; as, ' Therefore ; desirous of praise ; in the pursuit of riches.'
A simple sentence contains one subject, or nominative case, and one verb to agree with it, either expressed or understood ; as, Exercise promotes health.'
A compound sentence contains more than one nominative and verb, expressed or understood ; or it has adjuncts so connected with it, that it may be resolved into two or more simple sentences ; as, Examine well the counsel, that favors your desires. They have sacrificed their health and fortune at the shrine of vanity, pride, and extravagance.'
The pauses, the use of which requires to be more particularly explained, are the comma, the semicolon, the colon, the period, with the notes of interrogation and exclamation.
RULE I. The parts of a simple sentence must not be separated by a comma.
EXCEPTIONS. 1. An adjunct of considerable length and importance, and especially if it does not stand in its inost natural or