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RULE III. The falling inflection terminates a forcible interrogation, or any form of question which does not admit of being answered by yes or no.
Examples "What conquests brings he home?" " Who's here so base that he would be a bóndman?" “When went there by an age since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with òne man?" “Why should this worthless tègument endure,
If its undying guèst be lost for ever?” "How shall we do for mòney for these wars ?” " Where wilt thou find a cavern dàrk enough
To mask thy monstrous visage?” Exception. Any question repeated or echoed in the tone of genuine or affected surprise. Such questions always end with the rising inflection, as in the following instances;
“ Whexe grows !-where grows it not?”
" What news! Can any thing be more new, than that a man of Macedonia should lord it over all Greece?"
“How accomplish it?-certainly not by never attempting it!”
Note. The examples which follow the preceding rule, are classed under the general head of forcible interrogation, as it is their comparative force which seems to require the falling inflection; while the form of interrogation which is answered by yes or no, demands, on the principle of incompleteness or suspension of thought, the rising inflection; since the circuit of thought is not completed till the answer is given, as well as the question put.
That there is a comparative rhetorical force in the former species of interrogation, that which is not answered by yes or no, --will appear by changing, in one of the above examples, the form of the question ; thus, “Is any here so base that he would be a bond
man?”—a feeble and lifeless inquiry, compared to the original, “Who's here so base,' &c.
The echoing question of surprise, assumes the rising inflection, because in it an ellipsis takes place, which would be supplied by a question demanding an affirmative or a negative answer; thus, as before, “What news!”-i. e. "What news! (did you say ?)”
“I have seen,
Rule IV. Completeness of thought and expression, is indicated by the falling inflection, whether at the end of a sentence, or of a clause which forms perfect sense, independently of the remainder of a sentence. *
Examples. “ Human life is the journey of a dày.” The dumb men throng to see him, and the blind To hear him speak: matrons flung their gloves, Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchiefs, Upon him as he passed; the nobles bended As to Jove's stàtue; and the commons made A shower and thunder, with their caps and shouts : I never saw the like."
Exceptions. Pathetic expression and poetic description, whether in the form of verse or of prose, require the rising inflection, even where the sense is complete, as in the following instances : "For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care; No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share."
But the bird and the blue fly rove over it still,
" The most intimate friendship,-of what brief and scattered portions of time does it consist! We take
* See Concluding Remarks on the Theory of Inflection.
each other by the hand; and we exchange a few words and looks of kindness; and we rejoice together for a few short moments; and then days, months, years intervene, and we have no intercourse with each other."
Application of Rule IV. to series of words and clauses. The word series, in elocution, is used to designate a succession of words or clauses,--amounting to any number, from two upwards,-so connected in meaning, as to be comprehended under the same rule of syntax, by a conjunction expressed or understood.
A series which is so formed that each of its members concludes, or completes, a distinct portion of the sense, -so that the sentence might terminate at any of these members, without leaving the impression of an imperfect idea or an unfinished sentence,-is called a concluding series.
A series which consists of single words, connected as above, is called a simple series: one which comprises several words, or a clause, in each of its successive members, is called a compound series.
The following sentence contains an example of a simple concluding series of five members:
"The characteristics of chivalry, were vàlour, humànity, courtesy, jústice, and honour."
Example of a compound concluding series:
"The characteristics of chivalry were personal courage, humane fèeling, courteous deportment, a strict regard to justice, and a high sense of honour.”
Note 1. A concluding series is read, (as marked above,) with the falling inflection on every member except the penultimate, which rises in preparation for the cadence at the close of the sentence.*
This rule holds in all cases, except those which contain extraordinary force of expression; and, in such instances, the falling inflection prevails throughout; thus, “Eloquence is action=noble, sublime, godlike action."
* See Concluding Remarks on the Theory of Inflection.
Note. 2. Pathetic and poetic series are excepted, throughout, from the application of Rule IV., and are read with the rising inflection on every member but the last, as in the subjoined examples.
“not to me returns
Here are sweet sounds which thou lóvest well;
" When we have looked on the pleasures of life, and they have vanished away; when we have looked on the works of nature, and perceived that they were changing; on the monuments of art, and seen that they would not stánd; on our friends, and they have fled while we were gázing; on ourselves, and felt that we were as fleeting as théy; when we have looked on every object to which we could turn our anxious eyes, and they have all told us that they could give us no. hope nor support, because they were so feeble thémselves; we can look to the throne of Gòd :* change and decay have never reached that; the revolution of ages has never mòved it; the waves of an eternity have been rushing past it, but it has remained unshaken; the waves of another eternity are rushing toward it, but it is fixed, and can never be disturbed."
Application of Rule IV. in the answer to a question: Whatever word contains the answer to a question preceding, is pronounced with the falling inflection; thus,
“A'rm'd, say you?” “Arm'd my lord.” Application of Rule IV. in antithesis : The falling * The remainder of the sentence falls under the exception to Note 1, on the Concluding Series. See page 82.
inflection is used in the latter member of an antithesis* of equal force in its constituent parts; thus,
"In Homer, we admire the man; in Virgil, the work.”
“Are you toiling for fáme, or labouring to heap up a fòrtune?"
Rule I. Forms of speech which excite expectation of farther expression,—whether they occur in the form of question, or of incomplete thought, and suspension of sense,-raise or suspend the voice by the rising inflection.
Note 1. The circumstance of incompleteness, or expectation, is the turning point on which depend all the rules for the rising inflection, as far as this slide is associated with meaning addressed to the understanding. Feeling and harmony are the governing principles embodied in all the other rules on this inflection. The extent of the slide, or, in other words, the interval which the rising inflection traverses, in these cases, is prescribed by the nature of the prevalent emotion, in each instance. But in the circumstances presumed in Rule I., the slide is more or less elevated, according to the degree of expectation excited by the phrase to which it is applied, or the length of the clause which it terminates, and consequently the length of time during which the attention is kept in suspense.
Hence, in marked suspension of sense, and in the vivid expectation consequent upon it, the inflection runs high, -usually traversing an octave' or fifth; thus, "Shall we then tamely yield, or bravely resist ?”
In the moderate suspension of connexion, on the contrary, the inflection is much reduced; seldom rising above a third;' sometimes limited to a single note, or even a semitone; and sometimes preserving a per
* The antithesis of unequal parts, occurs under Rule II. on the falling inflection.