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cent. This is demonstrable from the following examples : ' He shall increase, but I shall decrease.' 'There is a dill'erence between giving and /orgiving.' 'In this species of composition jo/o»sibility is much more essential than probability.' 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, inmany 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 deBire 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 rending 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 Trochee - ^ A Dactyl - w ^
An Iambus w — An Amphibrach ^ — ^
A Spondee - — An Anapasst ^ ^
A Pyrrhic ^ ^ A Tribrach ^ w ^
A Trochee has the first syllable accented, and the last unaccented : as, ' Hateful, pettish.'
An Iambus has the first syllable unaccented, and the last accented : as, ' Betray, consist.'
A Spondee has both the words or syllables accented: as, ' The pale moon.'
A Pyrrhic has both the words or syllables unaccented : as, ' On the tall tree.'
A Dactyl has the first syllable accented, and the two latter unaccented : as, ' Labourer, possible.'
An Amphibrach has the first and last syllables unaccented : and the middle one accented: as, 'Delightful, domestic.'
An Anapaest has the two first syllables unaccented, and the last accented : as, ' Contravene, acquiesce.'
A Tribrach has all its syllables unaccented: as, 'Numerable, conquerable.'
There are two sorts of Poetical Pauses, one for sense, and one foV 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 cmsural 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 csesural 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 apt arrangement of theconstituent 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 corrtpos? tion into sentences, or parts of sentences, by points 01 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, tha colon, the period, with the notes of interrogation and exclamation.
The parts of a simple sentence must not be separated by a comma.
1. An adjunct of considerable length and importance, and especially if it docs not stand in its most natural otder, hiay be separated by a comma on both sides; as, 'Nor, even on this affecting occasion, should I presume to deviate.'
2. A simple sentence, when long, and when the nominative case is accompanied with inseparable adjuncts, may admit of a pause immediately before the verb; as, * To be totally indifferent to praise or censure, is a real defect in character.'
3. The nominative case independeijt, the case absolute, the infinitive absolute, and nouns in apposition when the latter is attended by inseparable adjuncts, must be separated by commas ; as, ' Do, Trim, said my Uncle Toby. His father dying, he succeeded to the estate. To confess the truth, I was in fault. Death, the King of Terrors, chose a prime minister.'
4. When the verb of a simple sentence, contained within a compound one, is understood, a comma may often be inserted; as, 'From law arises security; from security, curiosity ; from curiosity, knowledge.'
5. The words may, so, hence, again, first, secondly, formerly, lastly, in short, &c. must generally be separated by commas.
A compound sentence must be resolved into simple ones, and separated by commas; as, 'The decay, the waste, the dissolution of plants may affect our spirits, and suggest a train of serious reflections.'
1. Two words of the same kind, immediately connected by a conjunction, must not be separated; but if there be more than two, they must all be separated, un.ess connected in pairs—in which case the pairs only must be separated ; as, 'Some men sin deliberately and presumptuously. The decease of parents, friends, and companions should promote our improvement. There is a natural difference between merit and demerit, virtue and vice, wisdom and folly.'
2. In comparative sentences, and indeed in compound sentences generally, where the simple members ar« short and closely connected, the comma is better omit