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can not terminate there; for the words are introductory and not completory. Ever
froze the ice, on lake and river. thicker,
fell the snow o'er all the landscape.
How often we hear clergymen read the following passage: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God,” etc., in a grave and monotonous tone of voice, giving just exactly as much force on one word as on the other; and the "who was, and who is, and who is to come,” with the emphasis each time on the who. Holy,
is the Lord God Almighty, holy,
Who was, and who is, and who is to come. Was, is, and is to come are used here to express the omnipresence of the Lord God Almighty, from the beginning to the end of time. If these are not emphasized the sense is not rendered.
When a sentence is commenced with repeated clauses which have reference to time, place, distance, or particular qualities, the noun should be the first to receive the emphasis; in the second repetition the adjective receives the stress; in the third or last, both adjective and noun take increased power.
half a LEAGUE onward.
1. Half a league,
none But the BRAVE deserve the fair. 2. None but the brave,
none but the brave,
and nothing BUT our country. 3. Our country,
our WHOLE country, Repeated sentences commencing with the same word or clauses expressing excited passion take the intense rising emphasis during the entire sentence without any downward dropping of the voice.
3. STRIKE-FOR THE GREEN GRAVES OF YOUR SIRES. 2. Strike-for your altars and your fires; 1. Strike-till the last armed foe expires;
The following is to be read in the same manner, except the first line where the parenthetical clause occurs:
3. CHARGE home-avenge them one and all. 2. CHARGE home-your bleeding comrades fall! 1. Charge home-(brave men)-at freedom's call; The climax occurring on the last word. In the above each repetition of the words strike and home takes an increasing circumflex also.
Pauses sometimes correspond to rests in music. As we have dwelt so much upon the necessity of respiration, it will be only necessary to say that the first use of a pause is to give time for the speaker to take breath. Pauses, or suspensions of voice, are of various lengths, from the slight breaking of voice between syllables to the prolonged rhetorical pause required to give effect and particularize a meaning which rapidity of utterance never allows.
Close, attentive listening to rapid reading or speaking will enable a person to catch the leading idea of the author, but scarcely any thing further than this. To present a subject fully requires something more. "There is a time for all things,” is a saying as old as Solomon; and that all things require time for their completion and perfect work is equally true. And it frequently becomes essential that not only a suspension of voice is necessary, but a visible pause is required before a word to excite expectation in the minds of the listeners, else they will not be impressed with the full importance of the word which is to follow. We denominate this “rhetorical effect," and the suspension of voice RHETORICAL PAUSE.
The rhetorical pause occurs before or after the important words, and it is sometimes necessary that a word or sentence shall be completely cut off or separated from what precedes it, and also from that which follows, by this suspension of voice, in order that sufficient attention may be drawn to it. But the words or clauses thus set apart receive emphasis in some form of modulation of voice that is not given to the others. Thus where opposite things or qualities are contrasted, the quality of voice must be used that will best express the character of each; as, Virtue— leads to happiness; vice,-to misery.
These pauses are of greater or less duration, and are regulated in length by the importance of the words or clauses before and after which they occur. To give some idea of the comparative length of these rests, we will illustrate by the use of one or more little pausedashes, but give them merely as an illustration ; for the pupil should strive so to enter into the spirit of what he says or reads as to have them prompted by his feelings.
-is joy advanced ;
A Deity—believed—is joy begun; a Deity-ADOREDa Deity_BELOVED- is joy MATURED.
It will be seen that this gives a separate molding of the different degrees of development of the religious state; and when rendered with the proper observance of the pauses, and a slightly increasing
emphasis, with an equally increasing rising circumflex of voice on the words believed, adored, beloved, the effect is very impressive.
“Roll on,-thou deep—and dark-blue ocean,- -ROLL;
Ten thousand fleets-sweep-over thee in vain.” "Hail! universal LORD! Be bounteous still to give us ONLY GOOD; and if the night-have gathered—aught of evil-or concealed, -disperse it now, as light-dispels the dark."
It must be remembered that these pauses follow the law of climax just as does emphasis; that there are always strong points to be made, and the greatest force and expression must be reserved for that purpose. “Be our plain answer
- this, The throne we honor - is the people's choice; -the laws we reverence—are our fathers' legacy ;
-the FAITH-we follow-teaches us—to live in bonds of charity with all mankind,--and die with hopes of bliss—beyond—the grave."
Let any person read the following extract from the flight of Xerxes without the suspension of voice, and then with it, and they will discover the importance of its use:
"He who with heaven contended
Behind, the foe-before, the wave."
“Behind, -the foe; before, -the wave." In the first case Xerxes is behind the foe; in the last, the foe is behind him.
Again, in the following quotation from Othello, where he smothers Desdemona, the distinction between putting out the light of a taper and the extinguishing of life could not be expressed without this prolonged pause. Although Othello had many admirable traits of character, the passion of jealousy was too fierce to be controlled by his frank and generous nature. The pathetic detail which he gave to Desdemona of the dangers and hardships he had passed “in the tented field," excited in her the profoundest sympathy and love for this rough and swarthy soldier; "and he loved her that she did pity them.” Othello was truly and devotedly attached to his wife; but, being impetuous and hasty in his disposition, his suspicions were easily awakened. Desdemona possessed a nature full of sweetness, gentleness, and compassion, and was ever true and constant to her husband. But Iago, a pretended friend of Othello—whose villainy has scarcely a parallel even among the most odious characters which Shakespeare has painted—by his dark innuendoes and insinuations against the conduct of Desdemona, succeeds in making Othello madly jealous of her. In his tones of mingled jealousy, despair, and revenge
“She is gone !—I am abused; and my relief
After the agitation of the storm in his bosom had in some measure subsided, he concluded to terminate her existence. In the scene, Desdemona is lying on a couch; Othello enters with a light, and, with convulsed frame and broken murmurs, gazes upon his sleeping victim, and then gives expression to his feelings in the following words:
" It is the cause, it is the cause,—my soul;
Let me not name it to you,—you chaste stars !
To read or recite this requires great rhetorical expression; and the line wherein occurs, "Put out the light, and then put out the light,” must be particularly significant. The phrase "put out the light” in the first case implies blow out the candle. Where it is repeated—thus, “and then put out the light”—means put out the light of life;- quite a different matter. A rhetorical pause ought therefore to be made after the word then and before the word the—the taking also a prolonged emphatic circumflex. To read or recite this soliloquy merely in a grammatical manner, without emphasis or rhetorical pause, would make it unimpressive, flat, and even farcical—would convey the idea that smothering one's wife was an easy and simple act in the course of events.
In argumentative composition there is always a point to be made clear; the culmination of proofs must be enforced gradually and with increasing intensity of voice until the climax is attained.
EXAMPLE 1.—“Let us contemplate then this connection which binds the posterity of others to our own; and let us manfully discharge all the duties it imposes. If we cherish the virtues and principles of our fathers, HEAVEN will assist us to carry on the work of human liberty and human happiness."
EXAMPLE 2.—"Auspicious omens cheer us. Our firmament now shines brightly above us. Washington is in the clear upper sky; Adams, Jefferson, and other stars have joined the American constellation ;—they circle round the center, and the heavens-beam with new-light. Beneath this illumination let us walk the course of life; and—at its close devoutly commend our beloved country,—the common parent of us all,—to the DIVINE BENIGNITY."
In this peroration the last clause should terminate in a solemn halfwhisper, accompanied with the upraised hand of veneration.
Another equally good specimen is from the supposed speech of John Adams on the Declaration of Independence, given elsewhere.
In highly poetical and emotional compositions the same law of preserving the climax must be observed, or the beauty and perfection of the idea as a whole will be lost. To illustrate this we will take the last four verses of the 24th Psalm in full, as they are replete with intense devotional fervor combined with great poetical exaltation. After enumerating the qualities of head and heart that will insure the blessing from the Lord, the Psalmist bursts forth in this poetical rapture on the greatness and power of the King of glory:
Lift up your heads,—0 ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory—shall come in.
Who—is this King-of glory? The Lord-strong-and mighty, the Lord—mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates ; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;and the King of glory shall come in. Who is—this King of glory? The Lord of Hosts,—he is the King—of glory.