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The following question will prove the great nicety and utility of emphasis; for the node of emphasising it, will give four different meanings : “ Do you go to Europe this year ?". If the question be asked without a stress on any particular word, the replicant may say yes, or no; if on you, he may say no, I send. If on Europe, he may say no, to India. If on this year, he may say no, next year. The best rule for emphasising justly, is to study the true meaning of the author, and lay the stress upon such words as you would make impressive, were you conversing upon the same subject. The following examples will sufficiently elucidate the force and beauty of Emphasis.
" It must be so-Plato thou reason'st well-
Thus am I doubly arm'd. My death and life,
TRAGEDY OF CATO.
• The quality of mercy is not strained ;
MERCHANT OF VENICE. “ And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, there were two men in one city; the one rich and the other poor.
“ The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds;
“ But the poor man had nothing save one little ewe-lamb, which he had bought and nourished up; and it grew up together with him, and with his children ; it did eat of his own meat; and drink of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
" And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the way. faring man that was come unto him ; 'but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
" And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, as the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die;
“ And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. “And Nathan said to David, thou art the man."
2d SAMUEL, 12th CHAPTER
V. CLIMAX. A climax is a figure in rhetoric, which rises in force and dignity of expression with the sense, and is productive of much grandeur and effect. The rule for reading or speaking a climax, is to raise the voice progressively with the subject, until you come to its close.
PLAY OF THE TEMPEST.
“ Sudden the heart Of this young, conquering, loving, god-like Roman
THOMPSON. “ Days, months, years, and ages,"
W. W. DIMOND. “What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties ! in form and moving, how express and admirable ! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a God!"
HAMLET. " For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit, also, upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north ; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High !"
VI. ANTI-CLIMAX. This figure, the reverse of the Climax, frequently imparts force, beauty, and pathos to language. It should be read or spoken by commencing the subject in the middle tone of voice, then subduedly and progressively letting it fall until you come to the termination of the passage.
Examples • In helpless, hopeless, brokenness of heart.” Byron. “ That fires not, wins not, weeps not now.”
“ Were I an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms, never, never, never.”
EARL OF CHATHAM IN DEFENCE OF AMERICA.
On the Inflections of the Voice. Perhaps this may be a proper place to remark upon one of the most persuasive ornaments of reading and speaking, which is modulation. All the variations of the human voice spring from five inflections. The first of which, however paradoxical it may seem, is monotone, the second the rising, and the third the falling inflection, the fourth the falling, and the fifth the rising. High and low, loud and soft, quick and slow, may be considered comparative modifications, as what is high in one case may be low in another, and so of the rest.
Examples of Monotone, and of the rising and falling
MILTON'S MORNING HYMN.
ADDISON. Examples of the falling and rising Inflections.
“ The tear, The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier, And all we know, or dream, or fear" An excursion on the highway may as clearly as any other way, point out the five inflections of the voice. Monotone being the first, we will suppose the smooth, level way, and as we cannot always have smooth level ways, we will suppose our next change to be an acclivity, which we will call the rising inflection. When we shall have reached the summit, we will suppose that we shall have to descend, which we will call the falling inflection. At the foot of the hill, we meet a level spot, which as above, we will call monotone. After travelling some distance on this level, we arrive at a descent which we will term the falling inflection; at the fooi of which we have a hill, which we will call the fifth or rising inflection, and these straight forward, and up and down, down and up, and continual equalities and inequalities, form our road through life, and afford a species of elucidation of the five inflections of the human voice.
VII. SUSPENSION. Suspension, which may be considered of two kinds, the protracted and the slight, is when properly managed, one of the most effective things in eloquence; it impresses the auditor, elicits his attention, and calls forth his applause. A good orator may hold an audience almost breathless under its influence. But care should be taken not to use the protracted suspensive pause, but
when the subject is of sufficient magnitude to bear the speaker out in its adoption; for if it be recurred to frequently, and upon trivial occasions, censure will be the result. The effect is to be produced by stopping and suspending the voice immediately before the passage, or part of a sentence, by which you mean to make what is in oratory called your point. When you stop, let it be with an elevation of voice, which will leave the sense broken and incomplete, then your hearers, being in expectation of somethiug superlative, will, when it comes, amply reward you for the excitement and gratification of their expectations. There are two ways of reading the protracted suspensive pause. The one is, when you suspend in a loud tone, you should terminate in a subdued tone; and the reverse. Independently of the particular power above attributed to suspension in the protracted sense, there is another and a slighter kind of suspension, which has a general power over eloquence, for by that keeping up of the voice, while the necessary breathing time is taking, a disjunction of the sense, and a stop to the harmony of the subject, which would otherwise continually occur, is prevented, some senten. ces being so long that a speaker could not have sufficient breath to go through them, even rapidly, much less to give them force and harmony, unless he were to have recourse to suspension, which carries him and the meaning evenly along until it set both down safely at the period. Its power is such, that the speaker may stop when and where he pleases, without injury to the sense, if he be a perfect master of its use.
Examples of the protracted Suspensive Pause.
" And Nathan said to David-thou art the man."
“ It is an attribute-to God himself.”
“ Born for your use, I live but to obey you,
TRAGEDY OF THE REVENGE, Act 5.