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Emphasis may be divided into the SUPERIOR and the INFERIOR emphasis. The fuperior emphasis determines the meaning of a sentence, with reference to fomething faid before, presupposed by the author as general knowledge, or removes an ambiguity, where a passage may have more senses than one. The inferior emphasis enforces, graces, and enlivens, but does not fix, the meaning of any passage. The words to which this latter emphasis is given, are, in general, such as seem the most important in the fentence, or, on other accounts, to merit this distinction. The following passage will serve to exemplify the superior emphasis.

« Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
" Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
“ Brought death into the world, and all our wo,” &c.

“ Sing heav'nly Muse!" Supposing that originally other beings, besides men, had disobeyed the commands of the Almighty, and that the circumstance were well known to us, there would fall an emphasis upon the word man's in the first line; and hence it would be read thus:

“ Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit,” &c. But if it were a notorious truth, that mankind had tranfgressed in a peculiar manner more than once, the emphasis would fall on first; and the line be read,

« Of man's first disobedience, &c. Again, admitting death (as was really the case) to have been an unheard-of and dreadful punishment, brought upon man in consequence of his transgression; on that fuppofition the third line would be read,

" Brought deaib into the world,” &c.

But if we were to suppose, that mankind, knew there was such an evil as death in other regions, though the place they inhabited had been free from it till their transgression, the line would run thus:

“ Brought death into the world,&c. The superior emphasis finds place in the following short sentence, which admits of four distinct meanings, each of which is ascertained by the emphasis only.

Do you ride to town to-day?"

The following examples illustrate the nature and use of the inferior emphasis.

Many persons mistake the love, for the practice of 66 virtue.”

“ Shall I reward his services with falsehood! Shall I forget him who cannot forget me!

“ If his principles are false, no apology from himself can “ make them right: if founded in truth, no cenfure from others can make them wrong.

“ Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull;
Strong, without rage; without o’erflowing, full.

A friend exaggerates a man's virtues ; an enemy, his s crimes.

“ The wise man is happy, when he gains his own appro" bation; the fool, when he gains that of others.

The superior emphasis, in reading as in speaking, must be determined entirely by the sense of the passage, and always made alike: but as to the inferior emphalis, taste alone seems to have the right of fixing its situation and quantity.

Among a number of persons, who have had proper opportunities of learning to read, in the best manner it is now taught, very few could be selected, who, in a given infance, would use the inferior emphasis alike, either as to place or quantity. Some persons, indeed, use fcarcely any degree of it: and others do not scruple to carry it much beyond any thing to be found in common discourse; and even sometimes throw it upon words so very trifling in themselves, that it is evidently done with no other view, than to give variety to the modulation * Notwithstanding this diversity of practice, there are certainly proper boundaries, within which this emphasis must be restrained, in order to make it meet the approbation of found judgment and correct taste. It will doubtless have different degrees of exertion, according to the greater or less degree of importance of the words upon which it operates; and there may be very properly some variety in the use of it: but its application is not arbitrary, depending on the caprice of readers.

As emphasis often falls on words in different parts of the fame fentence, so it is frequently required to be continued, with a little variation, on two, and sometimes more words together. The following sentences exemplify both the parts of this position: “ If you seek to make one rich, study not “ to increase his fores, but to diminish his defres.“ The “Mexican figures, or picture-writing, represent things not z'ords: they exhibit images to the eye, not ideas to the " understanding."

* By modulation is meant that pleafing variety of voice, which is perceived in uttering a sentence, and which, in its nature, is perfe&tly distinct from emphasis, and the tones of emotion and passion. The young reader Mould be careful to render his modulation corre&t and easy ; and, for this purpose, Mould form it upon the model of the most judicicus and accurate speakers.

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Some fentences are so full and comprehensive, that almost every word is emphatical: as, - Ye hills and dales, ye “ rivers, woods, and plains !” or, as that pathetic exporulation in the prophecy of Ezekiel, “ Why will ye clie!"

Emphasis, besides its other offices, is the great regulator of quantity. Though the quantity of our syllables is fixed, in words separately pronounced, yet it is mutable, when these words are ranged in sentences; the long being changed into short, the short into long, according to the importance of the words with regard to meaning. Emphalis allo, in particular cases, alters the seat of the accent. This is demonftrable from the following examples. “ lie Mall increase, but I shall decrease.” « There is a diference “ between giving and forgiving.” “In this fpecies of con

pofition, plausibility is much more essential than probabi

lity.” In these examples, the emphasis requires the accent to be placed on fyllables, to which it does not commonly belong

In order to acquire the proper management of the emphafis, the great rule to be given, is, that the reader study to attain a juft conception of the force and spirit of the fentiments which he is to pronounce. For to lay the emphasis with exact propriety, is a constant exercise of good fense and attention. It is far from being an inconsiderable attainment. It is one of the most decisive trials of a true and juft taste; and must arise from feeling delicately ourfelves, and from judging accurately of what is fitteft to lirike 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, and using the emphasis indifcriminately. It is only by a prudent reserve and difline

tion in the use of them, that we can give them any weight. If they recur too often; if a reader attempts to render every thing he expresses of high importance, by a multitude of strong emphasis, we foon 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 the effect, is just the same as to use no fuch distinctions at all.



Tones are different both from emphasis and pauses; consisting in the notes or variations of found which we employ, in the expression of our sentiments. Emphafis affect particular words and phrases, with a degree of tone or inflexion of voice; but tones, peculiarly fo called, affect fentences, paragraphs, and fometimes even the whole of a difcourse.

To show the use and necessity of tones, we need only observe, that the mind, in communicating its ideas, is in a constant state of activity, emotion, or agitation, from the different effects which those ideas produce in the fpeaker. Now the end of such communication being, not merely to lay open the ideas, but also the different feelings which they excite in him who utters them, there must be other signs than words, to manifest those feelings; as words uttered in a monotonous manner, can represent only a similar ftate of mind, perfectly free from all activity or emotion. As the communication of these internal feelings, was of much more consequence in our social intercourse, than the mere conveyance of ideas, the Author of our being did not,

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