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expect to become proficients without labor; but it is the shortest and only road to excellence.
One very simple way of finding correct emphasis is by questions and answers. Let us take a part of the 23d Psalm, and by questions and answers see what we learn:
“The Lord is my Shepherd : I shall not want.” Why shall I not want? Because the Lord is my Shepherd. Therefore we get this rendering: “The Lord is my Shepherd: I shall not want.”
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” Where doth He make me to lie down? In green pastures. He leadeth me where? By the still waters. He leadeth me in what paths? Of righteousness. For whose sake? For His name's sake. Again, “Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul!” Unto whom do I lift up my soul? Unto thee. What do I lift up unto thee? My soul.
Note. Remember that my is never emphatic unless it is used to denote possession, in contrast to something possessed by others, or when the object possessed is a subject of controversy.
“The Lord said unto my lord, sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies—thy footstool,” is correct, for two separate lords are designated. RULE.—When
any two words in a sentence are brought in contrast they are emphatic; as, “Why should it live—while I am fallen ?”
In simple emphasis, where there are repetitions, or a succession of particulars to be designated, the stress is marked more by different pitches of voice and inflection than by increased loudness.
“They (through faith) subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions ;-out of weakness were made strong,waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the arms of the aliens."
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." “The rocks crumble, the trees fall, the leaves fade, and the grass
withers." Emphasis may be properly divided into two classes, the Grammatical and Rhetorical.
Grammatical emphasis sustains the corresponding relation to words in a sentence that accented syllables do to words, it being one of the essential elements that helps to give correct meaning, as well as life and soul to all delivery. As the subject and predicate are the important words in a sentence, they receive the stress from grammatical necessity.
We will construct an example in simple grammatical emphasis. In pronouncing the name of God we should give it sufficient force to convey our devotional reverence for his name.
If we say
is an interest awakened, and the important stress is placed on the predicate, which means that he exists, that he is all in all. If we say God is great, it then becomes a simple copula; great is the thing predicated, and which receives the important stress. In all simple declarations this is a rule: John is wise ; Julia is beautiful; James is good.
RULE 1.—But if they assume the form of positive affirmation or opposition to some other expressed opinion, then the copula receives the important stress; as, John is wise, notwithstanding you do not think so; Julia is beautiful, and James is good.
RULE 2.-In altercations and disputes the emphasis is changed from the pronoun to the verb: “This is my book. It was your book, but it is not now.” The student should be required to originate sentences, emphasizing according to the preceding examples.
RULE 3.- In the repetition of a question the verb takes the stress; as, Who is this man of whom you speak? No answer being received, the question is repeated, Who is this man of whom you speak ?
In all affirmations confirming a fact about which doubt has been expressed follow the same rule.
There are two ways of making emphasis—by stress and quantity. Stress is simple unimpassioned emphasis, such as occurs in important words in general conversation, or in reading sentiments or thoughts not particularly impressive. Quantity is either loudness or force, with more prolongation of the vowel-sounds on the unaccented syllables, and is marked also by variety of pitch.
When two or more states, conditions, or qualities are used in the predicate they are all emphatic, and usually increase in force of utterance, the last one receiving more stress than the preceding ones; but they should be spoken on different pitches, rather than in loudness of voice, bearing in mind also that two emphatic words must not be spoken without taking breath between them. God is (1) great—and (2good—and glorious.
EXERCISE IN MEDIUM EMPHASIS.
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives
To Rat-land-home his commentary. Words are emphatic when opposition is expressed or understood, or when we wish to enforce contrast.
EXAMPLE.—He who can not bear a joke should never give one. He that is past shame is past hope. The head—without the heart—is like a steam-engine without the boiler. They are generally most ridiculous themselves—who see most to ridicule in others.
Words used to exhibit differences, joined by conjunctions, are emphatic; as, “Sink or swim,-live
“Sink or swim, -live or die,—survive or perish.” “The sun and moon—refused to shine.” “Heaven and earth-will witness." “Land and sea."
Over, under, beneath, below, above, upon, unto, within, without, my, your, our, their, etc., are never emphatic unless made so by being contrasted by their opposite in meaning.
EXAMPLE.—We went over the bridge, not under it. We took the road below the town, not the one leading through the town. This is my seat, not yours. He is the governor of our state, not of theirs.
REMARK.-If we say, we loved, you hated, they wept, both subject and predicate receive stress; for attention is drawn to the fact that there are not only different parties, but that they are doing different things.
EXERCISE IN EMPHASIS AND RHETORICAL PAUSES.— How mean,-how timid,-how abject, must that spirit be which can sit down—contented with mediocrity. As for myself—all that is within me is on fire. I had rather be torn into a thousand pieces than relax my resolution of reaching the sublimest heights of virtue—and knowledge, of goodness—and truth, of love—and wisdom. Nothing so ADMIRABLE in human affairs but may be attained by the industry of man. We are descended from heaven; thither let us go. Let nothing satisfy us-lower than the summit of all excellence."
NOTE.—Parenthetical clauses must be spoken in quicker time, and at least a note lower, than the words preceding and following.
The student may now be required to read the following exercise from “The Passions,” paying strict attention to all that has been said about emphasis, breathing, pitch, and parenthetical modulation :
“When Music (heavenly maid) was young,
The Passions oft (to hear her shell)
Would prove his own expressive power.” After facility in simple emphasis has been acquired, it will be easy to master the rhetorical.
Rhetorical emphasis has relation to the expression of the forcible, passional, and emotional qualities. It does not interfere with the grammatical sense, but conveys intensity and passional expression that the other fails to do.
If we say, “To arms, they come,” the grammatical sense is complete; But if the clauses are repeated, it is indicated that there is something more to be expressed. If we repeat the words without any additional stress of voice, there is nothing gained by their repetition. “They come! to arms! to arms! to arms!” The simple call, “They come! to arms!” will convey just as much as the repetition; but if each additional“ to arms" is given with increasing force and higher pitch, some idea of the state of alarm and the necessity for immediate resistance will be manifested.
TO ARMS! They come ! to arms! This manner of rendition is absolute in all such passages where alarm and sudden resistance, or desire for help, is to be expressed. 'Tis nature's own expression. Let this and similar clauses be practiced by commencing with the loud and high pitch, and diminishing in ratio to the close, and it will be seen how foolish and inadequate is the result. Resistance and bravery will appear to be rapidly oozing out.
Notz.-Words, phrases, and sentences that require high pitches of voice before the climax is attained we denominate intense rising emphasis; those which require descent to lower and graver pitches of voice we will denominate the intense falling or descending emphasis.
The repetition of words always indicates their increased expression, but does not indicate that they shall always be given on higher pitches
of voice. Repetitions of a sacred, grave, impressive, and dignified character require the downward stepping of the voice; and, if the last repeated word closes the sentence, takes usually a low, emphatic, prolonged half-whisper.
If I were an American as I am an Englishman, I never would lay down my arms; no, never,
NEVER, NEVER! The student will see at once the marked contrast in the two examples above given, and also the difference of expression necessary to render the opposite conditions or states of mind.
The cool deliberation of a person debating a strong case, endeavoring to convince the judgment of an assembly, and enforcing his arguments by the powers of reason and rhetoric, would be quite different from the excited condition of one trying to arouse people to resistance against immediate danger. Neither would he use the scold- . ing or high tones of anger; to do so would only make him ridiculous, and be but a waste of breath and passion. The same rule is in force where a succession of words follow each other which directly appertain to the same subject, although not the same words repeated; as,
They,— by a strange frenzy driven, - fight for power, for plunder - and extended rule; -we-for our country,
Without a grave, - unknelled, - uncoffined,—and
Also in all clauses and words that are used to express contempt; as,
To tread upon; thou scum!
thou reptile! But this full, falling emphasis occurs on the last-repeated word only when it ends a sentence.
But if the repeated words or clauses commence the sentence—as in this example, “Ever thicker, thicker, thicker froze the ice on lake and river"-the first and second should take the increasing descending emphasis, but the last word “thicker” commences on exactly the pitch on which the second terminated, rising with a circumflex of voice to the pitch on which the first word “ever” was spoken ; for it is a law that no word should receive a full falling inflection or cadence until the sense or thought in the sentence is complete. The sense is here continued; and while the grave and impressive stress is required, it