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langaage appropriates to it; in opposition to broad, vulgar, or provincial pro. nunciation. This is requisite both for reading intelligibly, and for reading with correctness and ease. Instructions concerning this article may be best given by the living teacher. But there is one observation, which it may not be improper here to make. In the English language, every word which consists of more syllables than one, has one accented syllable. The accents rest sometimes on the vowel, and sometimes on the consonant. The genius of the language re. quires the voice to mark that syllable by a stronger percussion, and to pass more slightly over the rest. Now, after we bave learned the proper seats of these accents, it is an important rule, to give every word just the same accent in reading, as in common discourse. Many persons err in this respect. When they read to others, and with solemnity, they pronounce the syllables in a different manper from what they do at other times. They dwell upon them and protract them; they multiply accents on the same word ; from a mistaken notion, that it gives gravity and importance to their subject, and adds to the energy of their delivery. Whereas this is one of the greatest faults that can be committed in pronunciation: it makes what is called a pompous or mouthing manner; and gives an artificial, affected air to reading, which detracts greatly both from its agreeableness and its impression.
Sheridan and Walker have published Dictionaries, for ascertaining the true and best pronunciation of the words of our language. By attentively consulting them, particularly « Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary,” the young reader will be much assisted, in his endeavours to attain a correct pronunciation of the words belonging to the English language.
By emphasis is meant a stronger and fuller sound of voice, by which we dis. tinguish some word or words, on which we design to lay particular stress, and to show how they affect the rest of the sentence. Sometimes the emphatic words must be distinguished by a particular tone of voice, as well as by a particular stress. On the right management of the emphasis depends the life of pronunciation. If no emphasis be placed on any words, not only is discourse rendered heavy and lifeless, but the meaning left often ambiguous. If the emphasis be placed wrong, we pervert and confound the meaning wholly.
Emphasis may be divided into the Superior and the Inferior emphasis. The superior emphasis determines the meaning of a sentence, with reference to something said before, presupposed by the author as general knowledge, or removes an ambiguity, where a passage may have more senses tban one. The inferior emphasis en forces, graces, and enlidens, 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 sentence, 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
Supposing that originally other beings, besides men, had disobeyed the com mands 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 read thus:
* Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit," &c.
But if it were a notorious truth, that mankind had transgressed in a pecah lar manner more than once, the emphasis would fall on first ; and the line bo 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 transgres gion ; on that supposition the third line would be reaa,
“ Brought death into the world, " &c. But if we were to suppose that mankind knew there was such an evil u denth 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 sentenco, which ad. hits of four distinct meanings, each of wbich is ascertained by the omphasis waly.
“Do you ride to town to-day?"
The following examples illustrate the nature and use of the inferior empbaule "Many persons mistake the love, for the practice of virtue.»
Shall I reward his services with falschood ? Shall I forget him who cannot forget me?"
" If his principles are false, no apology from himself can make them right, founded in truth, no censure from others can make them wrong. "
u Though deep, yet clear ; though gentle, yet not dull ;
Strong without rage; without o'erflowing, ful.” « A friend exaggerates a man's virtues ; an enemy, his crimes. »
"The wise man is bappy, when he gains his own approbation; the fool, when be 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 emphasis, taste alone seems to have the right of fixing its situation and quantity.
Among the number of persons, who have had proper opportunities of learn ing to read, in the best manner it is now taught, very few could be selected, who, in a given instance, would use the inferior emphasis alike, en place or quantity. Some persons, indeed, use scarcel
come persons, indeed, use scarcely any degree of it ; and otbers do not scruple to carry it far bey
ruple to carry it far beyond any thing to be found in com dixourse ; and even sometimes throw it upon woras
imes throw it upon words so very trifing
selvor, that It Is eridently dono wlib no other view, than to give a greater ta. riety 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 sound judgment and correct taste It will doubtless bave different degrees of exertion, according to the greater or less degrees 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 same sentence, so * 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 stores, but to diminish his desires." "The Mexican figures, or picture writing. represent things, not words: they exbibit images to the eye, not ideas to the un derstanding."
Some sentences are so full and comprehensive, that almost every word is em phatical: as, “ Ye bills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains !" or, as that par thetic expostulation in the prophecy of Ezekiel, “ Why will ye die!"
Empbasis, 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 arranged in sentences; the long being changed into short, the short into long, according to the importance of the word with regard to meaning. Emphasis also, in particular cases, alters the seat of the accent. This is demonstrable from the following examples: “ He sball in. crease, but I shall decrease.” “There is a difference between giving and forgiving." "In this species of composition, plausibility is much more essential than probability.” In these examples, the emphasis requires the accent to be placod on syllables, to which it does not commonly belong.
In order to acquire the proper management of tbe emphasis, the great rule to be given, is, that the reader study to attain a just conception of the force and spirit of the sentiments which he is to pronounce. For to lay the emphasis with exact propriety, is a constant exercise of good sense and attention. It is far from being an inconsiderable attainment. It is one of the most decisive trials of a true and just taste ; and must arise from feeling delicately ourselves, and from judging accurately of what is fittest to strike the feelings of others.
There is one error, against which it is particularly proper to caution the learner; namely, that of multiplying empbatical words too much, and using the emphasis indiscriminately. It is only by a prudent reserve and distinction 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 empbasis, we soon 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 uso no such distinctions at all.
* By modulation is meant that pleasing variety of voice, which is perceived in uttering a sentence, and wbich, in its nature, is perfectly distinct from emphasis, and the tones of emotion and passion. The young reader should be careful to render his modulation correct and easy; and, for this purpose, should form a upon the model of the most judicious and accurate speakers
Tones. Tones are different both from emphasis and pauses; consisting in the notes or variations of sound which we employ, in the expression of our sentiments Emphasis affects particular words and phrases, with a degree of tone or inflex ion of voice ; but tones, peculiarly so called, affect sentences, paragraphs, and sometimes even the whole of a discourse.
To show the use and necessity of tones, we need only observe, that the mind m communicating its ideas, is in a constant state of activity, emotion, or agita tion, from the different effects wbich those ideas produce in the speaker. Now the end of such communication being, not merely to lay open the ideas, but als he different feelings which they excite in him who utters them, there must bother signs than words, to manifest those feelings ; as words uttered in a mo Dotonous manner can represent only a similar state of mind, perfectly free fron al activity and emotion. As the communication of these internal feelings wa al much more consequence in our social intercourse than the mere conveyanc of ideas, the Author of our being did not, as in that conveyance, leave the in vention of the language of emotion to man; but impressed it himself upon ou nature, in the same manner as he has done with regard to the rest of the anima world; all of which express their various feelings, by various tones. Ours, in deed, from the superior rank that we hold, are in a high degree more compre bensive; as there is not an act of the mind, an exertion of the fancy, or an emo tion of the heart, which has not its peculiar tone, or note of the voice, by whicl it is to be expressed ; and which is suited exactly to tbe degree of internal feel ing. It is chiefly in the proper use of these tones, that the life, spirit, beauty and harmony of delivery consist.
l'be limits of this introduction do not admit of examples, to illustrate the va riety of tones belonging to the different passions and emotions. We shall, how ever, select one, wbich is extracted from the beautiful lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan, and which will, in some degree, elucidate what has been said on this subject. “The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy bigh places ; how are the migbly fallen! Tell it not in Gath ; publish it not in the streets of Askean : Jest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice; lest the daughters of the un circumcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain upon you, nor fields of offerings for there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast
way: tbe shield of Saul, as though he bad not been anointed with oil." The Grst of these divisions expresses sorrow and lamentation : therefore the note is low. The next contains a spirited command, and should be pronounced much higher. The other sentence, in which he makes a pathetic address to the mountains where his friends bad been slain, must be expressed in a note quite different from the two former; not so low as the first, nor so high as the second, in a manly, firm, and yet plaintive tone.
The correct and natural language of the emotions is not so difficult to be at talned, as most readers seem to imagine. If we enter into the spirit of the au. thor's sentiments, as well as into the meaning of his words, we shall not fail to deliver the words in properly varied tones. For there are few people, who Sponk English without a provincial note, that have not an accurate use of tones, when they utter their sentiments in earnest discourse. And the reason that they have not the same use of thom, in reading aloud the sentiments of others
may be traced to the very defective and erroneous method, in which the art of reading is taught; whereby all the various, natural, expressive tones of speech are suppressed; and a few artificial, unmeaning reading notes, are substituted for dem.
But when we recommend to readers, an attention to the tone and language
emotions, we must be understood to do it with proper limitation. Moderation is necessary in this point, as it is in other things. For when reading becomes striosly imitative, it assumes a theatrical manner, and must be highly improper,
well as give, offence to the hearers; because it is inconsistent with that deli sey and modesty, which are indsipensable on such occasions. The speaker
ao delivers his own emotions must be supposed to be more vivid and anima. ved, than would be proper in the person who relates them at second hand
We shall conclude this section witb the following rule, for the tones that in dicate the passions and emotions. "In reading, let all your tones of expression be borrowed from those of common speech, but, in some degree, more faintly characterized. Let those tones which signify any disagreeable passion of the mind, be still more faint than those which indicate agreeable emotions; and, on all occasions, preserve yourselves from being so far affected with the subject, as to be able to proceed through it, with that easy and masterly manner, which has its good effects in this, as well as in every other art."
· SECTION VII.
Pauses. Pauses or rests, in speaking or reading, are o total cessation of the voice, duke ring a perceptible, and in many cases, a measurable space of time. Pauses are equally necessary to the speaker, and the hearer. To the speaker, that he may take breath, without which he cannot proceed far in delivery; and that he may by these temporary rests, relieve the organs of speech, which otherwise would be soon tired by continued action : to the hearer, that the ear also may be re hieved from the fatigue, which it would otherwise endare from a continuity of sound; and that the understanding may have sufficient time to mark the dis tinction of sentences, and their several members.
There are two kinds of pauses: first, emphatical pauses ; and next, such as mark the distinctions of sense. An emphatical pause is generally made after something has been said of peculiar moment, and on which we desire to fix the hearer's attention. Sometimes, before such a thing is said, we usher it in with a pause of this nature. Such pauses have the same effect as a strong emphasis : and are subject to the same rules ; especially to the caution, of not repeating them too frequently. For, as they excite uncommon attention, and of course raise expectation, if the importance of the matter be not fully answerable in much expectation, they occasion disappointment and disgust.
But the most frequent and the principal use of pauses, is to mark the divis fons of the sense, and at the same time to allow the reader to draw his breathe and the proper and delicate adjustment of such pauses, is one of the most niss and difficult articles of delivery. In all reading, the management of the breata requires a good deal of care, so as not to oblige us to divide words from one an other, which have so intimate a connexion, that they ought to be pronouncea with the same breath, and without the least separation. Many a sentence il miserably mangled, and the force of the emphasis totally lost, by divisions being made in the wrong place. To avoid this, every one, while he is reading, sbould be very careful to provide a full supply of breath for what he is to utter. It is
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