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An antithesis is an OPPOSITION IN SENSE between one part of a sentence and another; and this opposition must be brought out clearly by our manner of reading. It is not necessary, in order to bring the antithesis into forcible relief, that we should lay a violent or too forcible emphasis on the words which contain the antithesis. Sometimes, on the contrary, the emphasis should be extremely mild and quiet; sometimes there should be no emphasis at all. We must always credit the listener with some intelligence. For example, in No. 9, the emphasis on joy and pains should be as quiet as possible ; in Nos. 11, 12, and 19, there should be no emphasis at all—and the complete absence of emphasis makes the surprise of the hearer all the greater. Thus the hearer emphasises for himself; and this is always a good thing-when it can be managed. Antitheses
be divided into two kinds : A. Implied or Implicit antithesis; and B. Explicit antithesis.
In general, all emphasis may be regarded as an implied antithesis When we say for example, "I want the white ball,” we put the emphasis on white, and thus imply "not the red ball, or the black ball.” Again, when we say "He that runs may read,” we naturally put a quiet emphasis on runs, and imply that “not merely the man who walks, but even he who runs may read” what we are speaking about. Sentences with antitheses require to be read with great clearness and care; and, in general, it will be necessary to make pauses-long or short, according to the judgment of the reader after every word containing the antithesis.
Before the pupil begins to read the sentences, it will be as well to question him fully and closely on the words which contain the antithesis, and on the meaning of each sentence. The simile of a pair of scales may be used with some advantage :—What words would you place in the left hand scale ? What in the right? How many words are opposed to how many P And so on. Thus, in No. 17
peace, children and parents in the one scale; in the other, we have parents, children, and war.
A. IMPLIED ANTITHESIS.
1. A child might understand it. (Not merely a man).
2. Exercise and temperance will strengthen even an indifferents constitution. (Not to mention what it will do for a strong one).
3. He that runs 1 may read.
4. We know the passions of men: we know how dangerous it is to trust the best? of men with too much power. (Not merely bad or ordinary men, but even the best of men).
'Tis by Thy strength the mountains stand,
God of eternal power!
And tempests cease to roar.
Successive comforts bring;
B. EXPLICIT ANTITHESIS.
5. He that cannot bear : a jest should not make 3
If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains. 10. High stations tumult, but not bliss create:4 None 5 think the great unbappy
but the great.
* That is, stars-each of which may be the central sun of its own solar system.
11. When you have nothing to say-say it.
Nobility of blood
is he whose noble mind
DRYDEN. 14. A juggler is a wit in things, and a wit a juggler in words.
15. When we meet an apparent error in a good author, we are to presume ourselves ignorant of his understanding, until we are certain that we understand his ignorance.?
16. Charity creates much of the misery it relieves, but does not relieve all the misery it creates.
17. In peace, children bury their parents ; in war, parents bury their children.
18. If you wish to enrich a person, study not to increase his stores, but to diminish his desires..
19. “Now, Mr. Speaker, what has passed in the Commons' House ?" “If it please your Majesty, seven weeks !”?
20. He did his party all the harm in his power, he spoke for it, and voted against it.*
21. Yet they were not altogether 5 imbeciles these men.
22. God did not make man, and leave it to Aristotle to make him rational.
23. Every man desires to live long; but no man would be old. 24. 'Tis all thy business, business how to shun. 25. Summer has set in with its usual severity.? 26. Heads bow, knees bend, eyes watch, around a throne,
And hands obey-our hearts are still our own.8 27. None more impatiently suffer injuries, than they who are most forward in doing them. 28. Passions are winds to urge us o'er the wave;
Reason the rudder, to direct and save.
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. 30. I would rather be the first man in that village than the second in Rome.
31. We make provision for this life as though it were never to have an end, and for the other life as though it were never to have a ba, ginning
What men could do,
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent. 33. In their prosperity, my friends shall never hear of me; in their adversity, always.
34. Without were fightings, and within were fears.
36. The wise man considers what he wants and the fool what he abounds in.
37. Custom is the plague of wise men, and the idol of fools. 38. The prodigal robs his heir the miser robs himself.
Some place our bliss in action, some in ease :
Those call it pleasure, and contentment these. 40. The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation, and the fool when he recommends himself to the applause of those about him.
THE NOBLE NATURE.
In bulk, doth make man better be;
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
It was the plant and flower of Light.
1. The word on which the weight of sense rests will generally have a pause after it. 2. It is not necessary to make a pause after indifferent and best; but a strong emphasis should be put upon them. 3. Each of the words which carry the antithesis should have a marked emphasis, but not a violent one. 4. This line means that high rank does not bring happiness, but only a disordered state of the feelings. 5. Weighty, but not too marked, emphasis on None. (To p. 50.)
1. The emphasis here is on the prefix un. 2. The two most emphatic words are understanding and ignorance. 3. This story is told of one of the speakers of the House of Commons in the time of Queen Elizabeth. 4. The emphatic words are for and against. 5. The emphatic word is altogether. 6. Emphasis on no. 7. This statement should be read without the smallest emphasis and very quietly; it is the unexpected antithesis between summer and severity that catches the attention. 8. Not only a pause after hearts, but the emphasis upon it. (To p. 51.)
THESE statements are said by all writers on “ Elocution ” to require what is called “the rising inflection.” This should not be demanded of the pupil as a thing which he ought to do; but the fact should be employed as a test by the teacher to know whether he really does put the question rightly or not. If the pupil who is reading the question really means the question, there is little or no fear of his putting it wrongly—or of his using any but the right inflection. But it will frequently be necessary to call upon the pupil to ask the question with closed book—and therefore to ask it as if he were himself the original speaker. The first extract given is from the play of Hamlet -it is a conversation between Hamlet and the castle guard; and it will be of itself a sufficient lesson in the two inflections.
sórrow, than in anger.
· Now, who W stand on either hand
And keep the bridge with me?" 3. “Oh come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar p' 4. What are a handful of reasonable men, against a crowd with stones in their hands?