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tience and regret of the speaker, requires a swifter pronunciation of the particulars.
In the exordium to Cicero's Second Oration against Catiline, we have an instance of the asyndeton, which is much celebrated.
At length, at length, O Romans! have we driven, or despatched, or forced into a voluntary retreat, Lucius Catiline, intoxicated with insolence, breathing out guilt, impiously meditating the destruction of his country, and threatening you and this city with all the calamities of fire and sword. He is gone, he is vanished, he is escaped, he is sallied out.
The latter member of this passage, which forms the figure asyndeton, must be pronounced with a swiftness expressive of the flight of Catiline; but this swiftness should rather be in the pronunciation of the words themselves, than in omitting the pauses between them; for it may be laid down as a good general rule, that wherever there is a particle omitted, there must always be a pause; and though in the present example, the pauses should not be so long as in solemn and deliberate pronunciation, yet it ought to be quite as perceptible, and bear the same proportion to the time taken up in delivering the words.
These figures partake of the nature of the aparithmesis, or enumeration, and require the same inflection of voice on each particular, as in the series or climax; but as was before observed, though the polysyndeton, or repetition of particles, generally requires a solemn, deliberate, and emphatic pronunciation on each particular, the asyndeton, or omission of particles, does not always require a greater swiftness and precipitancy.
I shall illustrate both these positions by examples from the scripture:
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.
In pronouncing this passage, we find it necessary to pause considerably after each word, that each may be distinctly apprehended; nothing like swiftness or precipitancy is required here, but a calmness and deliberation suited to the sense of the text; but, in the following passage from Romans, viii. 35, every particular requires a degree of emphasis.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us.
Here the members of the sentence, being interrogations beginning with a verb, require the rising inflection approaching to a monotone, with a considerable stress upon each, but particularly on the last, where the vorte must slide much higher than on the rest, but each portion in the succeeding beautiful climax must have the falling inflection, except the last at creature.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life; nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers; nor things present, or things to come; nor height nor depth; nor any other creature, shal. be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord
This passage contains five portions of words, each portion, except the last, forming a class of words associated either by their similitude or opposition: each of these classes, except the last, requires the falling inflection, with some degree of emphasis on the last word. The voice must be low, firm, and deliberate, upon the first portion at life, and increase its force, loudness, and elevation, by the smallest degrees; and in the same inflection on powers, come, and depth; on creature the voice should adopt the rising inflection,
and then lower its tone deliberately and gradually to the end.
Enantiosis, or Antithesis, is a figure, by which things, very different or contrary, are contrasted or placed together, that they may mutually set off and illustrate each other.
Few of the figures of rhetoric derive more beauty from a proper pronunciation than this. The understanding is not more enlightened by a contrast in the thought, than the ear is gratified by expressing this contrast with a suitable antithesis of the voice. Nothing can better illustrate the force and beauty of this figure, than a passage in Sterne's sermon on the house of mourning and the house of feasting, where, describing the house of feasting, he says:
When the gay and smiling aspect of things has begun to leave the passages to a man's heart thus thoughtlessly unguarded—when kind and have caressing looks of every object without that can flatter his senses, conspired with the enemy within to betray him and put him off his defence -when music likewise hath lent her aid, and tried her power upon the passions-when the voice of singing men and the voice of singing women, with the sound of the viol and the lute, have broke in upon his soul, and in some tender notes have touched the secret springs of rapture-that moment let us dissect and look into his heart-see how vain! how weak! how empty a thing it is! Look through its several recesses-those pure mansions formed for the reception of innocence and virtue-sad spectacle! behold those fair inhabitants now dispossessed-turned out of their sacred dwellings, to make room-for what?-at the best for levity and indiscre tion-perhaps for folly-it may be for more impure guests, which possibly, in so general a riot of the mind and senses, may take occasion to enter unsuspected at the same time.
In pronouncing this passage, the voice ought to assume a plaintive tone approaching to a monotone, and proceed in this manner till it comes to the springs of
rapture, when the former of these words is to have the falling and the latter the rising inflection of voice, sliding up to a considerable height; then the voice must fall suddenly into a low tone, with a severity approaching to indignation, at the really wretched state of the heart, under the disguise of so much seeming happiness. This sudden alteration of the voice from high and plaintive to low and indignant, will wonderfully set off the contrast in the description, and give double energy and beauty to the thought.
We have another instance of this beautiful figure in Shippen's speech, in Chandler's Parliamentary Debates, where he shows the inefficacy of honest counsel, when once vice and luxury have gained the ascendant in a state.
If there are in this new parliament any men devoted to their private interest, and who prefer the gratification of their passions to the safety and happiness of their country, who can riot without remorse in the plunder of their constituents, who can forget the anguish of guilt in the noise of a feast, the pomp of a drawing-room, or the glare of an equipage, and think expensive wickedness and the gaieties of folly equivalent to the fair fame of fidelity and the peace of virtue-to them I shall speak to no purpose; for I am far from imagining any power in my words to gain those to truth who have resigned their hearts to avarice or ambition, or to prevail upon men to change opinions, which they have indeed never believed, though they are hired to assert them. For there is a degree of wickedness which no reproof or argument can reclaim, as there is a degree of stupidity which no instruction can enlighten.
Chandler's Parliamentary Debates. 1741.
In pronouncing this passage, we must begin the first part in a plaintive tone of voice, and continue this tone till the word virtue; here the voice must be suspended some time in the rising inflection, after which it must drop into a low solemn tone on to them, &c.—this tone must continue nearly till the end, when, at For there is, &c. to this tone must be added a degree
of asperity and indignation, with which the passage
There are certain examples of this figure, where, though the words and thoughts are opposed to each other, they are in so small portions, and succeed each other so rapidly, that it would have the appearance of affectation to endeavour to make any great difference in pronouncing them. Thus Cicero, speaking of Pompey, says:
He waged more wars than others had read: conquered more provinces than others had governed: and had been trained up from his youth to the art of war; not by the precepts of others, but by his own commands; not by miscarriages in the field, but by victories; not by campaings, but by triumphs. Pro. Leg. Man. c. x.
In pronouncing this passage, the opposing parts ought to have no more diversity than what is required by the harmony of the sentence; but, in order to show the contrasted parts distinctly, it will not be improper to make a longer pause between them than if there were no opposition in the sense; a pause of some length at wars, provinces, others, and field, will be quite sufficient to show the antithesis in the thought.
The same observations are applicable to another passage of Cicero, where, opposing the conduct of Verres, when governor of Sicily, to that of Marcellus, who took Syracuse, the capital of that island, he says,
Compare this peace, with that war; the arrival of this governor, with the victory of that general; his profligate troops, with the invincible army of the other; the luxury of the former, with the temperance of the latter : : you will say that Syracuse was founded by him who took it, and taken by him who held it when founded.
In pronouncing this passage, it will be necessary to make a considerable pause between each opposing part; and this, with the emphasis that naturally falls