Imágenes de páginas

each other by the hand; and we exchange a few words and looks of kindness; and we rejoice together for a few short móments; 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 coùrage, humane fèeling, courteous depòrtment, a strict, regard to jústice, 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 àction-noble, sublimè, 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 Dáy, or the sweet approach of even or mórn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, Or flocks or hérds or human face divine". "Content thee, boy! in my bower to dwell,Here are sweet sounds which thou lovest well; Flutes on the air in the stilly noón, Harps which the wandering bréezes tune, And the silvery wood-note of many a bird, Whose voice was ne'er in thy mountains heard." "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 stand; on our friends, and they have fled while we were gázing; on ourselves, and felt that we were as fleeting as they; 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 God:* change and decay have never reached that; the revolution of ages has never moved 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."

[ocr errors]

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?" "A`rm'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 mán; in Virgil, the work."

"Are you toiling for fame, or labouring to heap up a fortune?"


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 a '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.

fect monotone. The annexed example, read in the tone of solemn description, allows but a very slight interval to the rising slide on the word 'falls.'

"The dew of night falls, and the earth is refreshed." In the following and similar examples, the inflection rises in proportion as the clause, or clauses to which it belongs, are lengthened :

"As we cannot discern the shadow moving along the dial-plate, so the advances we make in knowledge, are only perceived by the distance gone over."

"As we perceive the shadow to have moved, but did not percéive its moving; so our advances in learning, consisting of insensible steps, are only perceivable by the distance."

"As we perceive the shadow to have moved along the dial-plate, but did not perceive its moving; and it appears that the grass has grown, though nobody ever saw it grow so the advances we make in knowledge, as they consist of so minute steps, are only perceivable by the distance."

Note 2. Rule I. on the rising inflection applies in the tone of a question which requires an affirmative or a negative answer; in the tone of surprise, as it intimates suspense, and is usually expressed in the form of question; in respectful address, request, petition, or apostrophe; in the negative, or less forcible, part of an antithesis; in the expression of a condition, a supposition, or a concession; in the first part of a comparison, a contrast, or a correspondence; in the expression of connexion or continuance; in any phrase which is introductory to another, and leaves the sense of a passage incomplete.


Questions admitting of an affirmative or a negative answer: "Will you obéy so atrocious a mandate?" Surprise: "Há! laughest thou, Lochiel, my vision to scórn?"

"What! surrender on terms so dishonourable ?" Address: "My lórd, I think I saw him yesternight."

"Can you, fellow-citizens, be misled by such arguments?"

Request: "Refuse not this last request of friendship!

Petition: "Oh! gently on thy suppliant's head, Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!" Apostrophe: O sacred Trúth, thy triumphs ceased awhile,"

Antithesis: "He came not with the aspect of véngeance but of mercy."

Condition or supposition: "If we attempt to number the stars, we are presently bewildered and lost: if we attempt to compass the idea of etérnity, we are overwhelmed by the contemplation of a theme so vast."

Concession: "Science may raise you to éminence; but virtue alone can guide you to felicity."

Comparison, contrast, and correspondence:. "As face answereth to face in water, so the heart of man to man.'

[ocr errors]

"Dryden is sometimes vehement and rápid: Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle."

Connexion and continuance: "He came unto his ówn, and his own received him not."

Introductory phrase: "In the midst of perpléxities, he was never discouraged."

Application of Rule I. to series of words and clauses. The last member of a commencing series is read with the rising inflection.

A commencing series is that in which the sense is merely commenced, or left incomplete, at every word or clause; the whole being introductory to a following phrase.

[Compare this with the definition of the concluding series, in the application of Rule IV. on the falling inflection.]

Examples. "Vàlour, humànity, courtesy, justice, and honour, were the characteristics of chivalry.” "Personal coùrage, humane feeling, courteous de

« AnteriorContinuar »