Imágenes de página

its name, but philos”ophy, resting on the basis of mathematics; which, like figures, cannot lie:-New"ton! who carried the line and rule to the utmost barrier of creation, and explored the principles, by which, no doubt, all created matter is held together, and exists.


201. (Sections 165-167)—In many forms of Oblique Sentences it is impossible to give accurate directions for their forcible utterance, as this frequently depends not only on the tone, but also on the general expression of the speaker. With regard to the inflexion of such passages, the ordinary rules suffice; but a greater and a distinctive degree (usually by circumflexes) is employed, to give better vocal expression to the implied meaning.

Our solicitude cannot alter the course, or unravel the intricacy, of human events. Our curiosity cannot pierce through the cloud which the Supreme Being has made impenetrable to mortal eye.

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of můtiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable.
What private griefs they have, alas ! I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.

SUBDUED INFLEXIONS-MONOTONE. 202. There is, strictly, in the speaking voice, no unvaried repetition of the same tone; therefore Monotone, in its exact definition, is a term which cannot be employed in Elocution. What is called Monotone is an emphatic prolongation of the Continuative Tone, in which the Inflexions are subdued as much as possible. These Subdued Inflexions, judiciously introduced, especially on the lower notes of the voice, in prayer, and in solemn or sublime passages, -serve as the shades with which a skilful artist sometimes invests his principal objects. Subdued Inflexions (i.e., Monotones) may be employed on any tone of voice.

203. The Guttural Monotone is principally used to express fear, terror, horror, or disgust. The Natural Monotone gives solemnity to descriptive passages. The Orotund Monotone should be used in solemn or sublime passages. The Falsetto Monotone, to give expression to violent despair, affliction, or anguish ; it may be also employed to express distant voices or sounds.

High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers, on her kings barbaric, pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat.

Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder Sleep—the innocent Sleep-
Sleep, that knits up the ravelled sleave of care-
The death of each day's life-sore labour's bath-
Balm of hurt minds—great Nature's second course
Chief nourisher in life's feast”-
Still it cried “Sleep no more !” to all the house :
“Glamis hath murdered Sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more !-Macbeth shall sleep no more!"

EMPHASIS. 204. Emphasis consists in giving prominence to words, clauses, or sentences, in contra-distinction to others either expressed or understood. Stress, or force, though usually mentioned as the only means for conveying verbal distinction, is very limited in its use ; for words may be rendered prominent, or emphatic, by any one of the following seven specific modes, or by a combination of them :

205. I.—BY TIME-in which the emphatic prominence may be effected either by a prolongation of the sound of the word, or by an abridgment of it. This may be used in combination with the emphasis of Pitch to give ironical effect.

206. II.--By Tune-in which words are rendered prominent by a superior degree of inflexion or circumflex. It is principally used to denote antithesis. In this form, the member or clause that is absolute, positive, affirmative, or imperative, requires a Falling Inflexion or Circumflex ; and the member that is relative, negative, doubtful, or appellatory, requires a Rising Inflexion or Circumflex.

207.—III. By Force—which consists in pronouncing words with increased stress of voice or of articulation. In Emphatic force, the chest is principally called into action.- Section 103. This emphasis, when confined to a single word, is always marked on the accented syllable, doubling, as it were, the accentual stress.

208. IV.–By Pitch-effected by changing the tone on the emphatic words. This mode gives peculiar signification, and is often employed to note a sudden or important change in emotion or expression.

209. V.-By ASPIRATION-in which the voice becomes harsh, broken, or whispering. It is used to express fear, terror, disgust, horror, &c.

210. VI.-By MONOTONE-by prolonging the voice on one key with limited variety of inflexion. It is employed to give expression to dignified or sublime passages.

211. VII.-BY PAUSE—by separating the emphatic word from those parts of the sentence that precede and follow it. This is the most important of these various modes, as it may be employed in combination with all the others; and as it affords great relief and power to the speaker, by enabling him to replenish his lungs with air before and after its use.

212. The only rule that can be given for distinguishing the words that should receive emphasis is, to place it on those that directly convey the meaning, or that denote the antithesis: the parts of a sentence charged with the greatest degree of sense, should be pronounced with the greatest prominence.

213. The various kinds of Emphasis mentioned above may be employed on any kind of composition, but subject to the nature of the sentiment that is to be expressed.

As elucidations of the principles of Emphatic stress, the following are presented:

“The Emphasis must, according to the intention of the speaker, be put upon that word which signifies the point. Example :-Is it true that yon have seen a noble lord from Court to-day who has told you bad news ? If the enquirer wants only to know whether myself or some other person has seen the supposed great man, he will put the emphasis upon you. If he knows that I have seen somebody from Court, and only wants to know whether I have seen a great man, who may be supposed to know what inferior persons about the Court do not, he will put the emphasis on noble lord. If he wants to know only whether the great man came directly from Court, so that his intelligence may be depended upon, he will put the emphasis upon Court. If he wants only to know whether I have seen him to-day or yesterday, he will put the emphasis upon to-day. If he knows that I have seen a great man from Court to-day, and only wants to know whether he has told me any news, he will put the emphasis upon news. If he knows all the rest, and wants only to know whether the news I heard was bad, he will put the emphasis on the word bad.

Another last-century author gives the following:

“ The office of emphasis is solely to determine the meaning of a sentence, with reference to something said before, presupposed by the author as general knowledge, or in order to remove an ambiguity, when a passage is capable of having more senses given to it than one, thus :

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

Sing, heavenly muse, &c. Supposing, in reference to the above well-known lines, that originally other beings besides men have disobeyed the commands of the Almighty, and that the circumstance was 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 transgressed in a peculiar manner more than once, the emphasis would fall on first, and the line be read :

Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit, &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 supposition the third line would be read:

Brought death 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. Supposing that none of the senses there pointed out were precisely the true one, and that the meaning of the lines were no other than what is obviously suggested by their simple construction, in that case it may be asked, if, in reading them, there should be no word dignified with the empbatical accompaniment above described ? It is answered, not one-with an emphasis of the same kind as that we have just been illustrating. The emphasis above noticed may be denominated the emphasis of sense ; that inferior stress which is given to important words, the emphasis of force or feeling. Sense is the regulator of the first, taste of the last.”

EMPHASES OF SENSE AND FEELING. 214. Emphasis, generally, may be divided into two kinds, Emphasis of Sense and Emphasis of Feeling.

215. EMPHASIS OF SENSE determines the meaning, and, by a change of its position, varies the signification of the passage.

It is thus evident that, by change of Emphatic Stress, sentences may be made to convey very different meanings. In the following there will be found to be as many significations as words :

I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day.

(Implying that some one else has that intention). I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day.

(Implying present intention, liable to change in the future). I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day.

(In opposition to an affirmative statement.) I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day.

(Implying that I may change my mind, or be induced to go.) I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day.

(Although I may ride, or go by railway, &c.). I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day. (But I shall go near it, or in that direction).

I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day.

(Implying a walk to some other place). I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day.

(But I may do so on another day). I do not intend walking to Kingstown this day.

(Implying that I may so occupy the afternoon or Is your friend dead? Do you ride to town to-day? Could you wish me to think unkindly?

216. EMPHASIS OF FEELING is suggested and governed by emotion: it is not strictly necessary to the sense, but is, in the highest degree, expressive of sentiment. Could you be so cruel ? That sacred hour can I forget ?

Then must the Jew be merciful.
On what compulsion must I? tell me that.

STACCATO FORCE. 217. When several words in succession are accented and separated by brief emphatic pauses, a kind of general emphasis is formed, called Staccato. How! will you tell me you have done this ?

What men could do
Is done already: heaven and earth will witness,
I'f Rome must fall

, that we are innocent. 218. Emphatic prominence may be also extended to a clause or sentence, by increasing the number of Modulative Inflexions.

MODULATION. 219. Modulation consists in changing the pitch-note of the voice to a higher or lower degree of elevation. Every change of Modulation is usually accompanied by changes of Force and Time.

As a general principle, a change to a low tone requires a slighter degree of Force, and a slower degree of Time: changes to high tones usually require increased degrees of Force and Time.

220. The principal degrees of Modulation may be represented by the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, explained thus :5

Highest tone.
Declamatory : high.

The natural tone.

Low tone. 1

Lowest tone

Middle tone.

« AnteriorContinuar »