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as are quite at variance with the sense of what is read, or utterly repugnant to the ear of cultivated taste.*
SIMPLE RISING AND FALLING INFLECTIONS, OR SLIDES.
DEFINITIONS. Inflection, as a term applied to elocution, signifies the inclining, or sliding, of the voice, either upward or downward. I
There are two simple inflections,—the upward, or rising, usually denoted by the acute accent 00—the downward, or falling, marked with the grave accent ().
The former occurs in the tone of a question which admits of being answered by yes or no, or by any other form of affirmation or negation; and the latter in that of the answer; thus,
“Is it a difficult affair ?” — “Yes."
Note 1. In the tones of strong emotion, the rising inflection runs up to a very high note, and the falling
* A striking example of this fault occurs in the prevalent use of the wave,' double slide, or circumflex,'-in the colloquial accent, and the local reading intonation of New England,
-a fault which even well-educated persons often uncon
consciously display on the gravest occasions, althongh the appropriate use of the circumflex belongs only to the language of wit, or drollery, or to sarcastic and ironical expression.
This tone is strikingly exemplified in every emphatic word of what are popularly termed · Yankee stories,' but may be traced, in a reduced form, in the current tones of New England, whether in speaking or in reading.
+ The importance of clear and correct ideas in the study of a subject new to many learners, has induced the author to adopt as systematic and exact an arrangement as possible, though at the risk, perhaps, of apparent formality. Those parts of this work which are distinguished by leaded lines, are intended to be committed to memory. On all others, the learner should be closely examined.
| Teachers and students will find 'here, as in all other departments of elocution, a copious source of instruction in Dr. Rush's elaborate work on the Philosophy of the Human Voice.
descends to one very low. The space traversed by the voice, in such cases, is sometimes a 'third,' sometimes a 'fifth,' and sometimes an "octave,' according to the intensity of emotion.
Example 1. [The tone of indignant surprise, heightened by question and contrast] :"Shall we in your person crown the author of the public calamities, or shall we destroy him?" 2. “ Hark!-a deep sound strikes like a rising
knell." [Earnest, agitated inquiry :-"Did you not hear it?" (Careless and contemptuous answer] :—"No!’twas
but the wind, Or the rattling o'er the stony street." 3. [Excessive impatience] :-"Must I endure all
this?" [Derisive and scornful repetition] :-"All this?” [Emphatic assertion] :-"Ay, mòre.”
Note 2. In unempassioned language, on the contrary, the tone being comparatively moderate, the inflections rise and fall but slightly.
The following examples, in which this diminution of-inflection takes place, are so arranged that the inflections are to be reduced by successive stages, till they lose entirely the point and acuteness of the tone of question, from which they are supposed to commence, and are, at last, brought down nearly to the comparative level which they acquire in conversational expression,--the form in which they are oftenest employed in a chaste and natural style of reading.
Example 1. Interrogation, when not emphatic, thus, “Shall I speak to him?”
2. Contrast, when not accompanied by emotion : “They fought not for fame but freedom."
3. The expression of a condition or a supposition: “If we would be truly happy, we must be actively useful." “Your enemies may be formidable by their number and their power. But He who is with you is mightier than they."
4. Comparison and correspondence: "As the beauty of the body always accompanies the health of it, so is decency of behaviour a concomitant to virtue." 5. Connexion : “He shook the fragment of his blade,
And shouted, Victory!” 6. Continuance of thought, or incomplete expression, generally: "Destitute of resources, he fled in disguise.” “Formed to excel in peace, as well as in war, Cæsar possessed many great and noble qualities.” “While dangers are at a distance, and do not immediately approach us; let us not conclude that we are secure, unless we use the necessary precautions against them."
“ To us who dwell upon its surface, the earth is by far the most extensive orb that our eyes can anywhere behold."
DEFINITION. Circumflex, or wave. The two simple inflections, the rising and the falling, are superseded, in the tones of keen and ironical emotion, or peculiar significance in expression, by a double turn, or slide of voice, which unites both in one continuous sound, called the circumflex, or wave.
When the double inflection thus produced, terminates with the upward slide, it is called the rising circumflex, which is marked thus (v); when it terminates with the downward slide, it is called the falling circumflex, -marked thus (^).
These inflections occur in the following passage of ironical expression,-deriding the idea that Cæsar was entitled to the credit of humane feeling, because he could not pass the Rubicon without a pause of misgiving: “Ôn! but he păused upon the brink!”
DEFINITION. When no inflection is used, a monotone, or perfect level of voice, is produced, which is usually marked thus (-). This tone belongs to emotions arising from sublimity and grandeur. It characterizes, also, the extremes of amazement and horror.
"High on a throne of royal state, that far
RULES ON THE FALLING INFLECTION. Rule I. Forcible expression requires the falling inflection, as in the following instances of energetic emotion : earnest calling or shouting, abrupt and vehement exclamation, imperious or energetic command, indignant or reproachful address, challenge and defiance, swearing and adjuration, imprecation, accusation,-assertion, affirmation, or declaration,-assurance, threatening, warning, denial, contradiction, refusal,-appeal, remonstrance, and expostulation, earnest intreaty, exhortation, earnest or animated invitation, temperate command, admiration, adoration.
Examples Calling and shouting: “Awake! arise ! or be for
ever fallen!" Abrupt exclamation: “To drms! they come !—the
Greek, the Greek !” Imperious command : “Hènce! hòme, you idle
creatures, get you hòme !" Indignant address : “You blocks, you stones, you
worse than senseless things" Challenge and defiance: “I dare him to his proofs." Swearing and adjuration: “By all the blood that
fury ever breathed, The youth says well."
* Farther examples of this inflection occur under the Rules on Monotone.
64I do beseech you,
Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates." Imprecation: "Accurs'd may his memory blacken,
If a coward there be that would slacken” Accusation: With a foul tràitor's name stuff I thy
throat." Assertion, affirmation, declaration: "We must fight,- I repeat it, sir,--we must fight."
Assurance: “But whatever may be our fate, be assured, be assured that this Declaration will stand." Threatening: “Have mind upon your health, tempt
me no further.” Warning: “Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day.” Denial :
“For Gloucester's death,
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.” Contradiction : .6 Brutus. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me-
Cas. I did not”. Refusal: "Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back."
Appeal : "I appeal to all who hear me, for the truth of my assertion." Remonstrance and expostulation :
“Good reverend father, make my person yours,
Unyoke this seizure and this kind regret ?" Earnest intreaty: “Let me, upon my knee, prevail
in this !"