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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' ! O that
my head were waters', and my eyes a fountain of tears', that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people'!
Joy-loving’, love-inspiring', holy bower,
RULE VII. When a sentence consists of two or more affirmative members, the last member but one, takes the rising, and all the rest, the falling, inflection; as, “ He fought the Scythian in his cave', and the unconquered Arab fled before him'.” “He won', divided', and ruled nearly all of modern Europe'." " The minor longs to be of age'; then to be a man of business'; then to make up an estate'; then to arrive at honours'; then to retire'."
The first ingredient in conversation', is truth'; the next', good sense'; the third', good-humour'; the last', wit'.
Nature rendered him* incapable of improving by all the rules of eloquence'
, the precepts of philosophy, his father's endeavours', and the most refined society of Athens'.
Nature has laid out all her art in beautifying the face. She has touched it with vermilion'; planted in it a double row of
• The son of Cicero
-vory'; made it the seat of smiles and blushes'; lighted it up and enlivened it with the brightness of the eyes; hung it on each side with curious organs of sense'; given it airs and graces that cannot be described'; and surrounded it with such à flowing shade of hair as sets all its beauties in the most agreeable light'.
Many of the tyrants that opposed the christian religion', have long since gone to their own place'; their names have descended
upon the roll of infamy'; their empires have passed', like shadows', over the rock'; they have successively disappeared', and left not a trace behind'.
But they that fight for freedom', undertake
A blessing'-freedom is the pledge of all'. Remarks.—In enunciating the foregoing examples, the reader has a fine opportunity to display his skill in modulation. In the first place, let him enter deeply into the meaning and spirit of his author; and, secondly, let him remember, that, whenever several succesuive members are inflected alike, it would be monotonous and insipid to modulate any two of them in the same manner. In reading such sentences, the voice should gradually increase in energy and fulness as it advances from one member to another, and continually vary in its intonation, so as to produce a sort of climax.
At the words“ minor," " then,” “improving," " touched it," “ in it," enlivened it," and shade of hair," a slight pause (called a Rhetorical Pause) is absolutely necessary to a happy and forcible elocution. The same kind of pause also occurs after the words “ His part," "land,” “ ocean," " power," "fame," “riches,” “itself," Conquerors," "Belief," "reason," and “Or,” “Or,” “Or," in the following exercises. 138. -For an explanation of the Final Pause at " undertake” and “call,” in the example immediately preceding these Remarks, see page 144.
EXCEPTION 1. When a sentence consists of only two affirmative members, the first generally takes the falling inflection if it end with an emphatick word; as, His part was invented by himself, and was terribly unique." "He would have enslaved the land to make the ocean free'; and he wanted only power to enslave both!”
• The idol of to-day', pushes the hero of yesterday out of recollection'; and will', in turn', be supplanted by his successors of tomorrow'." EXCEPTION 2. When the sense of any
member or members
of a scntence, is suspended, and depends for its completion on a succeeding member, such incomplete member or members generally require the rising inflection and the suspending pause; as, “As we cannot discern the shadow moving along the dial-plate', so the advances we make in knowledge', are perceivable only by the distance gone over." “ If thy brother Öffend thee', thou shalt forgive him.”
But the principle contained in this exception, though generally correct, and, so far, very important to the oratorical student, is sometimes reversed by the controlling power of emphasis; as is illustrated by the following examples:"One who frequently associates with the vile', though he may not become actually base'
, is sure to gain an ill name'.” “The man who is in the daily habit of using ardent spirits', if he do not become a drunkard', 'is in danger of losing his health and character'."
-Exceptions 1 and 2. As the pupil reads the examples in the following, and other, exercises, he ought to be interrogated by the teacher, in regard to the application of the Rules and Exceptions for inflecting, and thus be enabled to commit the Rules to memory by applying them in practice.
Out of the nettle danger', we pluck the flower thistle'.
As in water face answereth to face', so doth the heart of man to man'.
As fame is but breath', as riches are transitory', and as life itself is uncertain', it becomes us to seek a better portion'.
If riches corrupt thee', thy virtue is blasted'.
Whatever tends to promote the principles of virtue', and strengthen the bands of brotherhood:-whatever tends to calm the ruffled feelings', and regulate the passions', is undoubtedly a source of happiness'.
Franklin', the sage whom both worlds claim as their own', whose name is recorded with equal honour in the history of science and of governments', is justly entitled to be reckoned among those who have done the greatest honour to our species'.
Conquerors are a species of beings between good kings and tyrants, but partake most of the qualities of the latter.
The weakness of mankind', causes them to look with admi. ration upon personages distinguished only for mischief"; and they are better pleased to be discoursing about the destroyer', than the founder', of a nation! As belief is an act of reason', superiour reason may
dictato to the weak'.
Belief is an act of reason'; and, therefore', superiour reason often dictates to the weak'.
If we have no regard for religion in youth', we seldom have any respect for it in age'.
Remark. In this last example, that “we have no regard for religion in youth,” is entirely supposititious; but in the following
construction, that fact is conceded, and the inflections of both members are reversed.
If we have no regard for religion in youth', we ought to have some respect for it in age'.
This demonstrates the necessity of a constant exercise of good judgment and correct taste, in order to make the proper inflections.
Example.—The solicitude about the grave', may be but the offspring of an overwrought sensibility ; but human nature is made up of foibles and prejudices'. Remark.-If
, in reading this sentence, the superiour emphasis be allowed to fall on made up, and the inferiour, with a circumflex, upon "foibles and prejudices,” the sentence will close with the rising inflection, in accordance with the Exception to Rule 1.
You', recluse', again I woo',
And again your steps pursue'.
Remarks.--For the sake of a more pleasing variety in modulation, it would be no unwarrantable liberty to depart so far from the rule for inflecting this last example, as to give the falling concrete to the words “tomb” and “ roar.”
Many more rules for regulating the various inflections of the voice, might easily be given; but an unreasonable multiplicity of rules on this, or any other, subject, tends to embarrass and perplex the learner, and, in a measure, defeat the object secured by a less number, judiciously selected and arranged. Notwithstanding that the happy application of the foregoing rules, requires no small degree of judgment and taste, both on account of their liability to be misconceived, and in consequence of the numerous exceptions (besides those already pointed out) which ought to be, and which, without detriment to a good elocution, might be, made to them, it is believed, that a careful observance of them will prove highly beneficial to such as are anxious to attain an elegant and an accurate style in reading and speaking
In elocution, as in every other department of science which pertains to ianguage, there are not wanting, at least, a few, leading, fixed principles, which may be laid down as landmarks in the form of rules, and prove highly serviceable to the novitiate, to guide him on his way to excellence in this department of learning: but because rules have their exceptions, it is no good reason why they should be rejected. There are few rules in any science (except the exact sciences) which have not their exceptions. Therefore, to reject them, on this ground, would be to do away all science. But an unnecessary and an unreasonable multiplicity of rules, is an opposite extreme, equally to be avoided.
What is the second part to it ?—Please to read the examples which follow it.
When judiciously applied, what is the effect of the rules of elocution?
Please to read the exercises which follow, and explain the inflections by applying the Rules and Notes.
What is the design of the rules and principles of elocution ?
What are Exceptions 1, 2, and 3, to Rule 5 ? Have the goodness to illustrate them by examples.