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emphatic, but their effect is not so great as that of Falling Inflexions.
160. Emphasis and Emotion overbear all minor inflexions; so that an earnest and impassioned speaker will not give the same accentuation to a passage as one who is correct but lifeless. It is impossible to lay down any system that shall note all the modifications of tone and tune, unless we could consider the emotion or energy that may be expressed; but, even in the most impassioned delivery, there are general significant inflexions employed on the important oratorical words, which regulate the utterance of the minor groups.
161. The popular direction, to "drop the voice at the end of a sentence," is not only contrary to sense, but destructive of effect. The last words are always as important as the first, and they should be, at least, as audible. The injudicious reader makes his falling inflexion consist of a sudden dropping of the voice below its general level; but propriety and audibility require that the downward slide should be made from a higher and louder key to the level of the general key. Section 154.
162. The unskilful reader allows the voice to fall, not on the key, but below it; as in the following sentence:
praise in his business,
Does he deserve.
blame in his business?
But the reader who aims at audibility slightly raises his tone above the key, and then slides downward on it: thus
Does he deserve
PRAISE in his business,
BLAME in his business?
163. The primarily accented syllable should commence the inflexion, which should be continued on all the syllables that compose the oratorical word; for, words or syllables belonging to the same group and following the primary accent, are enclitic in their nature, and should be continued on the same inflexion, but in a feebler degree.See Table of Inflexions, 177.
164. All accented syllables are slightly raised above the level of unaccented syllables.
The end of the
165. Emphasis, in general, requires a higher key, e.g. :—
I tell you though you, though all the though an angel from should declare the truth of it, I would not believe it.-See also 154.
166. A great degree of earnestness may be given to accented and emphatic words by heightening their pitch.
167. To prevent any vocal angularity, a slight opposite inflexion should be used on the accented syllable preceding the principal inflexion, that the voice may easily rise or fall.-See MODULATIVE INFLEXIONS.
168. There should be a marked distinction between the Falling Inflexion in the middle and at the close of a sentence. The former is made on a higher note (commencing above the general level), with increased force and intensity.-Section 165.
169. The degree of inflexion must be correspondent to the force of the tone.
170. Although, in animated speech, every oratorical word has its distinctive inflexion, only that one which is principal will be marked; and then only if it is required to illustrate the particular rule or observation. But, as a general principle, it may be stated, that words not inflected are to be read in the Continuative Tone.
171. Inflexions are of two kinds, DETERMINATE and MODULATIVE. The Determinate Inflexions are those which, depending on the construction of the sentence, are regulated by the sense to be conveyed: these should generally be the same among all readers who express the same degree of meaning. The Modulative Inflexions are not determined by sense so much as by taste; they are used to prepare for those which are Determinate, and to introduce melody and variety : these will not necessarily be used in the same manner by all readers, or even by the same reader at different times.
172. All sentences may convey meaning in two ways—either in a Direct, or in an Oblique form.
173. In the DIRECT form, the words have no further signification than what they grammatically express. This form occurs in every sentence which conveys a simple statement without reference to any other statement, either expressed or understood. In this form the ordinary determinate inflexions are sufficient.
174. In the OBLIQUE form, the words have a further signification than the mere grammatical meaning conveys; a signification which may relate either to an opposite meaning, or to a greater degree of the same meaning. All oblique sentences are most effectively read with an emphatic circumflexed inflexion.
175. The Continuative Tone is formed by avoiding any marked inflexion. It is used in the unemphatic pronunciation of the minor words in a sentence; in pronouncing those passages that are of little importance to the meaning, or those with which the auditor may be supposed to be pre-acquainted.
As we perceive the shadow to have" moved along the di”al, but did not perceive" it moving; and it appears that the
* Although it is impossible to utter any series of words without inflexion, yet it is thought best to mark the groups of Continuative Tone with ne inflexion; because the natural variety of accent, and its necessary inflexion, will generally be sufficient. Continuative tone may therefore be considered as possessed of inflexion, but subdued and dependent on accentuation: and determinate inflexions may be left for the illustration of sense in its various portions. See Monotone for the difference between it and Continuative Tone.
grass has grown' though nobody ever saw" it grow': so the advances we make in knowledge, as they consist of such minute" steps', are only perceiv"able by the dis'tance gone o`ver.
TABLES OF INFLEXIONS.
The acute accents (") denote the rising inflexion; the grave accents (") the falling inflexion. (The accented words in these tables require à marked and distinctive pronunciation.)
176. The rising followed by the falling.
Did he say rel'ic, or rel`ict?
The falling followed by the rising.
He said relic, not rel'ict.
177. The inflexions followed by unaccented syllables, continuative of the preceding inflexion.
Did he say presence of his friends, or presents of his friends? He said presence of his friends, not preser ents of his friends. the flour" was destroyed, or the flower was destroyed? He said the flour was destroyed, not the flower was destroyed Was he rational, or irrational in his speech? He was rational not irrational in his speech.
Did he say the principle had no existence, or the principal had
no existence ?
He said the principle had no existence, not the principal had no
Did he say the mare" was bought, or the mayor was bought? He said the mare" was bought, not the may"or was bought. 178. I. The inflexion is marked on the accented syllable, and continued in any that may follow, in a feebler tone.
II.-Unimportant words preceding the inflexion are read in the Continuative tone.
III. The principal word before the rising inflexion may have a modulative fall; before the falling inflexion a modulative rise.
IV. The inflexions should be practised on all the musical inter vals. Those most frequently employed are, the second, in ordinary discourse; the third, in animated speech; the fifth, in emphatic delivery; and (sometimes) the octave, in passion. The minor thin in either rise or fall is peculiarly expressive of melancholy.
EXERCISES ON DETERMINATE INFLEXIONS.
179. RULE I.-Whenever the sense of a sentence, or clause of a sentence, is incomplete, dependent or suspended, a rising inflexion must be used.*
As no man is alike unfit for every employment, so, there is not any man unfit for all.
Not an eminent orator has lived",† who is not an example of the power of industry.
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first be overcome.
A man never detects a pleasing error, till reflection operates.
Adversity is the parent of piety.
The Lord reign"eth, let the earth rejoice.
Music is certainly a very agreeable entertain"ment; but it must not take the entire possession of our ears.
Painting, poetry, eloquence, and every other art, may abused", and may prove dangerous in the hands of bad" men; but it were ridiculous to contend that, upon this account, they ought to be abolished.
Gratian recommends fine taste", as the utmost perfection of an accomplished man.
180. A series of members forming imperfect sense should be read with a progressively increasing rising inflexion. The determinate inflexion of the penultimate member may be superseded by a modulative falling inflexion, to prepare for the agreeable termination of the series.
To advise the ignorant, relieve the nee`dy, and comfort the afflicted, are duties that fall in our way every day of our lives.
The verdant lawn", the shady grove". the variegated land"scape, the boundless o`cean, and the starry firmament, are contemplated with pleasure by every beholder.
Any sentence may be made appellative by a predominant rising inflexion. All sentences, therefore, which convey appeal, should be read with the suspended inflexion.
The grammatical sense of the first part is modified by the second, and therefore requires the rising inflexion.
A statement to which a condition is appended is incomplete until the condition is stated; and it therefore should be terminated with the suspensive inflexion.
Human"ity, justice, generosity, and public spir"it, are the qualities that chiefly recommend man to man.
When the gay and smiling aspect of things has begun to leave the passages to a man's heart unguard"ed; when kind and caressing looks of every object without that can flatter his senses, have 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 broken in upon his soul, and, in some tender notes, have touched the secret springs of rap"ture, that moment, if we dissect and look into his heart, we shall see how vain, how weak, how empty a thing it is.
The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown"'d;
Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.
181. In sentences composed of several clauses conveying imperfect sense, and independent of each other's meaning, although dependent in construction, the distinctness of each portion is frequently best preserved by a falling inflexion; provided that there is no climax, or regular rhetorical gradation, either in the thought or the expression.
It was before Deity, embodied in a human form, walking among men, partaking of their infirmities, leaning on their bosoms, weeping over their graves", slumbering in the manger, bleeding on the cross", that the prejudices of the synagogue, and the doubts of the academy, and the pride of the portico, and the fasces of the lic`tor, and the swords of thirty le"gions, were humbled in the dust.
To acquire a thorough knowledge of our own hearts and characters; to restrain every irregular inclination; to subdue every rebellious passion; to purify the motives of our conduct; to form ourselves to that temperance, which no pleasure can seduce"; to that meekness, which no provocation can ruffle; to that patience, which no affliction can overwhelm“; and to that integrity, which no interest can shake": this is the task which is assigned to us-a task which cannot be performed without the utmost diligence and care.
The distribution of oceans, seas and rivers; the variety of