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QUESTIONS.-1. What is the general Rule for the use of the circumflex? 2. In the last example given, what is implied in the use of the circumflex? 3. To what inflection is the circumflex nearly allied? 4. When is it most difficult to discern the difference between them? 5. What is said of the difference between the circumflex and the falling inflection? 6. What does each imply? 7. What plan is recommended in order to apply the several Rules given?
EMPHASIS is that peculiar stress of voice on a certain significant word, or words, in a sentence, by which their due importance and meaning are best expressed.
NOTE I.-Emphatic words are usually denoted by being printed in Italics; those more emphatic, in small CAPITALS; and those still more, in large CAPITALS.
NOTE II. As in the case of inflection, it is by no means to be considered that the degree of emphasis is always the same, or that it occurs on the same word in a sentence, under all circumstances. It is varied, both as to intensity and position, by the sentiment and circumstances, in which the sentence is uttered.
Thus, if one kindly informs another of an offense received, he says, You wrong me," with a slight degree of emphasis on wrong; but if he is not understood, he repeats it with a more intense degree on the same word; thus, "You WRONG me." Or, if the accused denies that he is guilty of the charge, but declares it to be some other one, the accuser re-asserts it by changing the position of the emphasis from wrong to you; thus, "You wrong me."
NOTE III.—In expressing the thoughts and emotions of the mind, emphasis may be considered the most important principle in Elocution. It often has the governing influence of varying the inflection of a passage from what is either customary or harmonious. Thus, the falling inflection is ordinarily employed at the end, and the rising, at the penultimate pause, of a sentence; but by emphasis they are re
versed; as, “I said an èlder soldier, not a bétter." By it, also, the accent of a word is frequently changed from its ordinary position; as, "He must increase, but I must decrease."
NOTE IV.—In addition to the important influence which emphasis has in conveying the true meaning of a sentence, it also has that of varying the sense by a change of its posi
For example, let the reader emphasize the successive words in the following sentence, and point out the varied import as thus expressed.
1. His object was not to injure his friend.
6. His object was not to injure his friend.
As each successive word is emphasized in this negative assertion, its opposite is suggested in the affirmative. Thus, (4.) "His object was not to injure his friend," but to benefit him.
NOTE V. In general, emphasis is employed simply to add force and beauty to the utterance of a passage, and affects not merely words, but often entire sentences. Hence, it has been very properly styled, "the soul of delivery."
1. Who steals my purse, steals trash,
But he that filches from me my good name,
2. Look on this picture of happiness and honor, and say,—WE, TOO, ARE CITIZENS OF AMERICA.
3. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.
NOTE VI.—In the utterance of successive particulars, and also in the repetition of words and clauses, the degree of emphasis is gradually increased, being more intense on the last than the first.
1. I am as thou art, a reptile of the earth; my life is a moment, and ETERNITY, in which days, and YEARS, and AGES, are nothing, ETERNITY is before me, for which I also should prepare.
2. My first argument for the adoption of this measure, is, The people demand it. My second argument is, THE PEOPLE DEMAND IT. My third argument is, THE PEOPLE DEMAND IT.
NOTE VII.-The most important words in a sentence generally receive the emphasis, and rarely the particles, or those of subordinate rank.
Remark 1.-Strict regard to the sense of a passage, is the only means of determining the emphatic words, as well as the degree and kind of emphasis required. A mistaken idea is often entertained, that the grammatical construction, or phraseology of a sentence, instead of the sense, should be had in view in order to give the appropriate emphasis. This leads to a forced and mechanical manner of reading, which can not be too carefully avoided. It is not unfrequently the case, moreover, that a full stress of voice is given the particles and unimportant words of a sentence, apparently with a view of promoting distinctness. Thus, to emphasize the small words, as marked in the following couplet, would be a wide departure from the principles of good taste:
Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As his corse to the ramparts we hurried.
Remark 2.-It, however, sometimes happens that these small particles become important in sense, and necessarily become emphatic, showing that emphasis is not governed by the importance of a word in a grammatical point of view, but in meaning. Thus,
1. The property, by what it is, should go, not by the title.
With a slight stress on by, in the second example, the sentence would mean that he intended to stop at Ephesus. But by a strong degree of emphasis on by, the true meaning is expressed, namely, that "Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus," i. e. to sail by Ephesus without stopping.
NOTE VIII.-Emphasis is generally founded on the contrast of one word or clause with another, either expressed or understood. This is called Antithetic Emphasis. When it
is employed without reference to any other word or clause, it is then called Absolute.
EXAMPLES OF ANTITHETIC EMPHASIS.
1. It is easier to mend one's faults than to hide them.
2. For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich :-
What is the jay more precious than the lark,
Or, is the adder better than the eel,
Because his painted skin contents the eye?
3. Cowards die many times, the valiant never taste death but once. 4. If they can not bring us to enjoy life, they will at least teach us to endure it.
EXAMPLES OF ABSOLUTE EMPHASIS.
1. Hold! HOLD! you wound me!.
2. Ring, Ring the loud alarms;
Ye drums, awake! ye clarions, blow!
Ye heralds, shout," To arms!"
3. Charge, Chester, CHARGE! on, Stanley, ON!
NOTE IX.-If the degree of emphasis is intense, that of inflection, which always accompanies it, corresponds in intensity. Thus,
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stárs,
Remark 3.-To employ, at all times, with ease and propriety, that due degree and kind of emphasis, which are adapted to give grace and expression to the utterance of a passage, the reader must be governed wholly by the sentiment, and the principles of good taste. But mistaking the true character of this important principle in Elocution, there is sometimes adopted a kind of abrupt and jerking stress, which is not only calculated in many instances to do violence to the sense, but is extremely painful to the hearer.
4. Another mistaken notion is likewise entertained by many, in supposing that emphasis consists merely in loudness, and hence they adopt a kind of vociferation or screaming, which is exceedingly disagreeable. It should not be forgotten, that the most intense degree of emphasis may often be expressed, in the most discriminating manner, even by a whisper.
QUESTIONS.-1. What is emphasis? 2. How are emphatic words usually denoted? 3. Is the degree of emphasis always the same? 4. How is it varied? 5. Give an example. 6. What is said of emphasis in expressing the thoughts and emotions of the mind? 7. What influence has it often on the inflection of a passage? 8. What, sometimes, on the accent of words? 9. What influence has it in regard to the sense of a passage? 10. How is the meaning of the example varied by changing the position of the emphasis? 11. For what purpose is emphasis generally employed? 12. How is it affected by successive particulars and repetition? 13. What words in a sentence generally receive the emphasis? 14. How can you determine the emphatic words of a sentence, and the degree and kind of emphasis required? 15. What mistaken idea is sometimes entertained in relation to giving the appropriate emphasis? 16. What erroneous idea is entertained in regard to emphasizing particles and unimportant words? 17. When do these particles become emphatic? 18. Give an example. 19. On what principle is emphasis generally founded? 20. What is such emphasis called? 21. When is it called absolute? 22. Give some examples of antithetic and absolute emphasis. 23. In what respect do emphasis and inflection correspond? 24. How is the reader to determine the due degree and kind of emphasis to be employed? 25. What two mistaken notions are sometimes entertained in regard to emphasis? 26. How may the most intense degree of emphasis sometimes be expressed?
MODULATION implies those variations of voice, heard in reading and animated conversation, which are prompted by the feelings and emotions that the subject inspires.
Whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven,-Thou art there!
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermosts parts of the sea;
And Thy right hand shall hold me!
NOTE I.-The voice is modulated in three different ways. First, it is varied in PITCH, that is, from high to low tones, and the reverse; as when one addresses another near by, and at a distance. Second, it is varied in QUANTITY, or in loudness. Third, in QUALITY, or the kind of sound expressed. These will be considered under their several heads.