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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 be 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 The determinate inflexion of the penultimate member may be superseded by a modulative falling inflexion, to prepare for the agreeable termination of the series.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 fir'mament, 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 De"ity, 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 lictor, 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
fields, meadows, and groves"; the luxuriance of fruits, herbs, and flowers; the return of spring, summer, autumn, and winter; the pleasant vicissitudes of day and night"; all have a voice, which, by telling man that he is constantly receiving favours, reminds him that he should be equally ready to bestow them.
I conjure you,
Though you untie the winds", and let them fight
Though bladed corn be lodged", and trees blown down";
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure
Even till Destruction sick""en; answer me
To what I ask you.
To play with important truths", to disturb the repose of established tenets, to subtilize objections, and to elude proofs", are too often the sport of youthful vanity; of which maturer age commonly repents.
182. When any word is introduced that causes an oblique or a referential meaning to be conveyed, such word must be pronounced with emphatic force, and with a circumflexed inflexion.-Sec. 174. If the oblique word is absolute in its signification, the falling circumflex should be employed; if negative or relative, the rising.
When people are determined to quarrel, a straw will furnish the occasion.
The labour of years is often insufficient for a complete reformation.
A man of a polite imagination can converse with a picture, and find an agreeable companion in a statue.
The bounties of Providence are so manifold, that a grateful heart is overpowered when it calls them to remembrance. We shudder at the very thought of dissolution.
Our sight is the most perfect of all our senses.
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of order, sins against the Eternal Cause.
183. RULE II. Whenever the sense of a sentence, or clause of a sentence, is complete or independent, a Falling Inflexion should be used. Sections 146, 154.
The gradations of art are always laborious: no man can attain excellence at once'.
Behold the emblem of thy state,
In flowers-which bloom and die'.
It is of the utmost importance to season the passions of a child with devotion,* which seldom dies in a mind that has received an early tinc`ture of it.
If we hope for what we are not likely to possess, we act and think in vain`; and make life a greater dream and shadow than it really is.
Man is seldom willing to let fall the opinion of his own dignity: he is better content to want diligence than power; he sooner confesses the depravity of his will, than the imbecility of his nature.
184. A series of members forming perfect sense should be read with a Falling Inflexion, progressively increasing in height and loudness of tone.-Sections 146, 154. A modulative Rising Inflexion may be introduced on the penultimate member.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind"; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniq"uity, but rejoiceth in the truth"; beareth all things, believeth all things, ho'peth all things, endureth all things`.
The chief security against the fruitless anguish of impatience must arise from frequent reflection on the wisdom and goodness of the God of Nature, in whose hands are riches and poverty, honour and disgrace", pleasure and pain", and life' and death'.
Complaisance renders a superior amiable, an equal agree"able, and an inferior acceptable.
The society of a discreet and virtuous friend eases and unloads the mind, clears and improves the understanding, engenders thoughts and knowledge, animates virtue and good resolutions, and finds employment for the vacant hours of life'.
Life is constantly ravaged by invaders: one steals away
When the relative pronoun limits its antecedent, a Rising Inflexion is required to note the incompletion of the rhetorical sentence; but, in all sentences where it merely echoes it, (as in the above,) it leaves the sense unchanged, and conforms to the rule.
an hour, another a day; one conceals the robbery by hurrying us into business, another by lulling us with amusement: the depredation is continued through a thousand vicissitudes of tumult and tranquillity, till, having lost all, we can lose no
Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
185. Frequently the members of a series admit of classification; and then the idea of the separate distinctness of the parts may be best preserved by a Falling Inflexion at the termination of each group, except the last, which, in imperfect sense, requires a Rising Inflexion.
For I am persuaded that neither death', nor life",-nor angels, nor principal'ities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come",-nor height', nor depth, nor any other crea"ture, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.
Neither blind'ness, nor gout', nor age', nor penury,— domestic afflictions, nor political disappointments,-nor abuse', nor proscription, nor neglect",—had power to disturb the serene and majestic patience of Milton.
186. In Climax there is a regular rhetorical gradation of meaning, which must be pronounced with a correspondent increase or swell of the voice. The Inflexions are the same as in sentences of a similar grammatical construction.
Consult your whole nature: consider yourselves not only as sen"sitive, but as rational beings; not only as rational, but social; not only as so""cial, but immortal.
From law', arises security; from security, inquiry; from inquiry, knowledge; and from knowledge, power.
He causes the banner to be erected, the charge to be soun'ded, the soldiers at a distance recalled. He runs from place to place, his whole frame is in action; his words', his looks', his mo`tion, his gestures, exhort his men to remember their former valour. He draws them up, and causes the signal to be given. Two of his legions are entirely surrounded: he seizes a buckler from one of his private men"; puts himself at the head of his broken troops; darts into the thick of the battle; rescues his le"gions, and overthrows the en`emy!