« PredošláPokračovať »
panied with a considerable degree of admiration and surprise.
The same pause, inflection of voice, surprise, and admiration, must accompany the word laws, in the following passage in his first oration against Antony.
By the dead are the banished recalled. By the dead are the privileges of Rome bestowed, not on private persons only, but upon whole nations and provinces. By the dead, members of corporations have their tribute remitted. We therefore confirm whatever, upon a single but unquestionable evidence, has been produced from this house; and shall we think of ratifying the acts of Cæsar, yet abolish his laws? Those laws which he himself, in our sight, repeated, pronounced, enacted ? Laws which he valued himself upon passing? Laws in which he thought the system of our government was comprehended ? Laws which concern our provinces and our trials ? Are we, I say, to repeal such laws, yet ratify his acts? Yet may we at least complain of those which are only proposed ; as to those which we pass, we are deprived even of the liberty to complain.
In pronouncing this passage, it ought to be observed, that the echoing word laws ought to be pronounced with increasing force upon every repetition, which will give it a climax of importance, and greatly add to the variety of it. This mode of pronunciation will be more peculiarly proper upon the same word in another passage in his oration against Piso.
During all this time, who ever heard you, I will not say act or remonstrate, but so much as speak or complain? Can you imagine yourself to have been a consul, when, under your government, the man who had saved his coun. try, who had saved the majesty of the senate,-when the man who had led in triumph into Italy, at three several times, the inhabitants of every quarter of the world, declared that he could not safely appear in public? Were you consuls at the time, when, as soon as you began to open your mouths upon any affair, or to make any motion in the senate, the whole assembly cried out, and gave you to understand, that you were not to proceed to business before you had put the question for my return; when, though fettered by the convention you had made, you yet told them, that you wished, with all your heart, that you were not bound up by law ? A law, which did not appear to be binding upon private subjects; a law, branded upon this constitution by the hands of slaves, engraved by violence, imposed by ruffians; while the senate was abolished, all our patriots driven out of the forum ; the republic in captivity; a law, contradictory to all other laws, and passed without any of the usual forms. The consuls, who could pretend they were afraid of such a law as this, were ignorant of the laws, the institutions, and the rights, of that very state in which they pretended to a share of the government.
Pronouns that are antecedents to some relative are often pronounced without accent, and by that means render the sense of the sentence feeble and indistinct. The antecedent and the relative are correspondent words, which ought to be distinctly, though not emphatically, marked, in order to show the precise meaning of a sentence. When pronouns are not antecedent to a relative, they are often pronounced without accent; and as the words they refer to are sufficiently understood, this unaccented pronunciation produces no obscurity. Thus in the following sentence:
He cannot exalt his thoughts to any thing great or noble, because he only believes that, after a short turn on the stage of this world, he is to sink into oblivion, and to lose his consciousness for ever. Here the person spoken of is supposed to be understood, and there is no necessity of laying even accentual stress on the word he: but in the following sentence :
He cannot exalt his thoughts to any thing great or noble, who only believes that, after a short turn on the stage of this world, he is to sink into oblivion, and lose his consciousness for ever. Here we find the pronoun he the antecedent to the relative who, and perceive the necessity of giving it an accent, and making a considerable pause after it.
When the relative immediately follows the antecedent, the antecedent requires an accent and pause after it in the same manner.
He, that pursues fame with just claims, trusts his happiness to the winds ; but he, that endeavours after it by false merit, has to fear, not only the violence of the storm, but the leaks of his vessel.
This passage will want much of its force and precision, if we do not lay an accent on the pronoun he, and make a sensible pause after it.
The same may be observed of the following sen: tence.
He, that is loudly praised, will be clamorously censured; he, that rises hastily into fame, will be in danger of sinking suddenly into oblivion.
Ibid. An attention to the foregoing rule will direct us in some doubtful cases, and give a decision to what might otherwise appear equivocal. Thus, when Zanga, in the Revenge, is applauding himself for his conduct, and apologizing for the obliquity of it, he says,
And greater sure my merit, who, to gain
A point sublime, could such a task sustain. It has already been observed, that when the pronoun my is in opposition to any other possessive pronoun, it is emphatical, and requires the sound rhyming with high. In this instance, herhaps, it may be said that my is emphatical, as it points out the person of the speaker in contradistinction from every other, and therefore requires the open sound of y with a degree of force upon it; and that who is here not determinative, but explicative; that is, it does not necessarily restrain the merit to him, because he acts in that manner, but only expatiates on the merit by way of supplement. This may possibly be the case ; but since the sense will admit of the who's being determinative, pronouncing the my with the emphatic sound takes away all doubt, and gives a completeness to the sense, as well as plenitude to the sound of the line.
There is the same necessity for accentual force and a pause, when the pronoun is in the objective, as when it is in the nominative case.
A man will have his servant just, diligent, sober, and chaste, for no other reason bat the terrour of losing his master's favour, when all the laws, divine and human, cannot keep him whom he serves within bounds, with relation to any one of these virtues.
Spect. No. 202. This rule leads us to decide upon the pronunciation of the pronoun, when in the objective case, and when the relative to which it corresponds is not expressed but understood.
From what has been observed, we may conclude, that, whenever there is an antecedent and a relative, there is a necessary connexion, which requires the former always to have accentual force, to intimate that the relative is in view, and in some measure to anticipate the pronunciation of it.
As folly and inconsiderateness are the foundations of infidelity, the great pillars and supporters of it are either the vanity of appearing wiser than the rest of mankind, or in ostentation of courage in despising the terrours of another world, which have so great an influence on what they call weaker minds; or an aversion to a belief, which must cut them off from many of those pleasures they propose to themselves, and fill them with remorse for many of them they have already tasted.
Spectator, No. 136. The antithesis in the latter part of this sentence may at first sight seem to require an emphasis on them, as opposed to those pleasures they propose to themselves; but if we examine the state of the antithesis more narrowly, we shall find that the opposite parts will be sufficiently contrasted without a stress on them, since the sense would be perfect without this word ; but as there is a relative understood before the word they, we find the propriety of a stress on the antecedent them, in order to correspond to the elliptical relative.
Hannah More, whose language is so pointed and perspicuous, so rich, and at the same time so correct, had less need, perhaps, than most writers to mark emphatical words in Italics; yet her knowledge of just pronunciation has induced her to mark an antecedent pronoun, that its correspondence with its relative might be sufficiently intimated. This occurs in a passage which contains, perhaps, , What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd.
Pope. Thus the weakest reasoners are always the most positive in debate : and the cause is obvious; for they are unavoidably driven to maintain their pretensions by violence, who want arguments and reasons to prove that they are in the right. Strictures on Modern Female Education, vol. ii. p. 15.
The causes of variety in reading and speaking are felt in their effects, but are very difficult to describe. The play of a melodious voice, from high to low, from loud to soft, or from quick to slow, charms us with the pleasing transition from one to the other; but affords so little ground for investigating the principles on which it depends, that the generality of writers on this subject content themselves with advising their readers to observe the best pronouncers, and to follow them as closely as possible. This advice is certainly very rational, though not very satisfactory. Rules are the soul of art and science; and he who can trace one in an art which was supposed to be incapable of rules, has added something, however small, to the mass of general knowledge. A conviction of this has encouraged me to offer a few rules for varying the voice in reading, by an attention to the inflection of voice on certain parts of a sentence, where at first sight there appears to be no necessity for any alteration of voice; or if there were,