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perfect sense by itself, and is followed by another forming perfect sense likewise, provided the first line does not end with an emphatic word which requires the falling slide.


Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.
All Nature is but art unknown to thée,

All chance, direction which thou canst not see:
All discord, harmony not understood,

All partial evil, universal good:

And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.


In all these couplets, except the last, the first line forms perfect sense by itself, but the variety and harmony of the verse require they should be all equally read with the rising slide on the last word. But if the first line ends with an emphatical word, requiring the falling slide, this slide must be given to it, but in a higher tone of voice than the same slide in the last line of the couplet.


Vice is a monster of so frightful mein,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;

Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
But where th' extreme of vice was ne'er agreed;
Ask where's the north, at York 'tis on the Tweed:
No creature owns it in the first degree,

But thinks his neighbour further gone than he.
E'en those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own:
What happier natives shrink at with affright
The hard inhabitant contends is right.


In the first line of the last couplet but one, the word zone is emphatical, and requires the falling slide; but this slide must not be in so low a tone as it is in the last word of the next line.

But when the first line of a couplet does not form sense, and the second line, either from its not forming sense, or from its being a question, requires the ris~ ing slide; in this case, the first line must end with such a pause as the sense requires, but without any alteration in the tone of voice.


When the proud steed shall know why man restrains
His fiery course or drives him o'er the plains;
When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod,
Is now a victim, and now Egypt's god:
Then shall man's pride and dulness comprehend
His actions', passions', being's use and end:
Why doing, suffering, check'd, impell'd,-and why
This hour a slave, the next a deity.

In this passage the words restrains and clod ought to have no inflection, and plains and god the rising.

In the same manner, if a question requires the second line of the couplet to adopt the rising slide, the first ought to have a pause at the end, but the voice, without any alteration, ought to carry on the same tone to the second line, and to continue this tone almost to the end.


Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires,
Forget to thunder, and recall her fires?
On air or sea new notions be impress'd,

O blameless Bethel, to relieve thy breast?
When the loose mountain trembles from on high,
Shall gravitation cease, while you go by?
Or some old temple, nodding to its fall,

For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall?

In this passage the three first couplets are questions requiring the rising slide at the end, and must therefore have the first lines end with a sameness of voice, which sameness must begin each succeeding line, and

continue till it approaches the end, which adopts the rising inflection. The last couplet is of exactly the same form as the rest; but, as it ends a paragraph, it must, both for the sake of variety and harmony, have its first line end with the rising, and its last with the falling slide.

The same principles of harmony and variety induce us to read a triplet with a sameness of voice, or a monotone, on the end of the first line, the rising slide on the end of the second, and the falling on the last.

Waller was smooth but Dryden taught to join
The varying verse, the full resounding line,
The long majestic march, and energy divine.

This rule, however, from the various sense of the triplet, is liable to many exceptions. But, with very few exceptions, it may be laid down as a rule, that a quatrain, or stanza of four lines of alternate verse, may be read with a monotone ending the first line, the rising slide ending the second and third, and the falling the last.


Full many a gem of purest ray serene

The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Gray's Elegy

On blank verse.

The structure and punctuation of blank verse are vast sources of errour and perplexity to young readers. Writers of blank verse affect to end the line without any pause, or with as small a pause as possible; and readers are too apt, where they see no pause at the end of the line, to run the lines together with

out attending to such pauses as they would make in prose, for fear we should suppose they do not know how to read blank verse: this makes them frequently pronounce the words at the end of one line and the beginning of the next much more swiftly than any other part of the verse, to the utter ruin of the harmony: for all verse requires a stated regular march of the syllables, and it is in this march the grandeur and beauty of the verse consists. In reading blank verse, therefore, care must be taken to steer between the one extreme of ending every line with a pause; and the other, of running one line into another more rapidly than if they were prose.

With respect to the pause of suspension at the end of every line in blank verse, which some writers insist upon as necessary to the harmony, see Elements of Elocution, p. 277, where the subject is fully discussed.



HITHERTO sentences have been considered only with regard to their external form, and their plain and obvious meaning. We have seen them in all their variety of simple and compound; have observed them in every diversity of structure; and have examined at large, and with some degree of attention, the connexion that subsists between their several parts, so as to determine the precise meaning and import of the whole. Thus far, however, sentences

may be considered as pertaining to grammar only.* There is another view in which we may contemplate them, which may be called rhetorical; and that is, not only when the sentence has a simple and definite meaning, but when this meaning is cast into a peculiar form, and therefore called a figure: and it is to this latter meaning, that is, to the figurative sense of words, that language owes its peculiar force and beauty.

These figures may be divided into two kinds; namely, into such as are common to every species of composition, and into such as belong more particularly to oratory. The former of these, such as metaphors, allegories, &c. have no reference to delivery, and may be considered as perfect, whether they are spoken or not: the latter, such as irony, aposiopesis, climax, &c. suppose a pronunciation suitable to each, and without which they have not half their beauty; the first of these figures we may, for the sake of distinction, call rhetorical, and the last oratorical. But, as many of the figures of each of these kinds are nearly allied to both, it may not be improper to give a summary account of both, that each of them may be better understood.

I shall not enter into a minute discussion of the difference between a trope and a figure, but shall content myself with following the accurate and philosophi Du Marsais on this subject, who considers the former

* Les grammariens et rhéteurs ayant fait des observations sur les différentes manières de parler, ils ont faites des classes particuliers de ces différen tes manières, afin de mettre plus d'ordre et d'arrangement dans leurs réflexions. Les manières de parler dans lesquelles ils n'ont remarqué d'autre propriété que celle de faire connoître ce qu'on pense, sont appellées simplement phrases, expressions, périodes; mais celles qui expriment non seulement des pensées mais encore des pensées énoncées d'une manière particulière, qui lui donne un caractère propre, celles-là dis-je sont appellées figures, parce qu'elles poroissent, pour ainsi dire, sous une forme particulière, et avec ce caractère, propre, qui les distingue les unes des autres et de tout ce tui n'est que phrase ou expression. Du Marsais des Tropes, p. 9.

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