Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

exactly measured. Sometimes it is only a slight and simple sus : pension of voice that is proper ; sometimes a degree of cadence in the voice is required ; and sometimes that peculiar tone and cadence which denote the sentence to be finished. In all these cases, we are to regulate ourselves by attending to the manner in which nature teaches us to speak, when engaged in real and earpest discourse with others. The following sentence exemplifies the suspending and the closing pauses : “ Hope, the balm of - life, sooths us under every misfortune." The first and second pauses are accompanied by an inflection of voice, that gives the hearer an expectation of something further to complete the sense : the inflection attending the third pause signifies that the sense is completed.

The preceding example is an illustration of the suspending pause, in its simple state: the following instance exhibits that pause with a degree of cadence in the voice : “If content cannot remove the disquietudes of mankind, it will at least alleviate them."

The suspending pause is often, in the same sentence, attended with both the rising and the falling inflection of voice; as will be seen in this example: “Moderate exercise, and habitual temperance', strengthen the constitution."*,

As the suspending pause may be thus attended with both the rising and the falling inflection, it is the same with regard to the closing pause : it admits of both. The falling inflection generally accompanies it ; but it is not unfrequently connected with the rising ipflection. Interrogative sentences, for instance, are often terminated in this manner : as “ Am I ungrateful'?” “ Is he in earnest"?"

But where a sentence is begun by an interrogative pronoun or adverb, it is commonly terminated by the falling inflection : as, * What has be gained by his folly pis 6 Who will assist him!?? " Where is the messengeri?" "When did he arrive'?"

When two questions are united in one sentence, and connected by the conjunction or, the first takes the rising, the second the fall. tog infection : as, “ Does his conduct support discipline', or destroy it'?

The rising and falling ipflections must not be confounded with emphasis. Though they may often coincide, they are, in their nature, perfectly distinct. Emphasis sometimes controls those infections.

The regular application of the rising and falling inflections, confers so much beauty on expression, and is so necessary to be

studied by the young reader, that we shall insert a few more ex. , amples, to induce him to pay greater attention to the subject. In

these instances, all the inflections are not marked. Such only are distinguished, as are most striking, and will best serve to show the reader their utility and importance

" Manufactures', trade', and agriculture', certainly employ more than nineteen parts in twenty of the human species." ." He who resigns the world, has no temptation to envy', hatred', malice', anger ; but is in constant possession of a serene mind; He who follows the pleasures of it, which are, in their very nature,

* The rising ipflection is denoted by the acute; the falling, by the grave accent.

disappointing, is in constant search of care', solicitude', remorse.' and confusion'."' .

16 To advise the ignorant', relieve the needy', comfort the afficted', are duties that fall in our way almost every day of our lives."

* Those evil spirits, who, by long custom, have contracted in the body habits of lust' and sensuality'; malice', and revenge', an aversion to every thing that is good', just', and laudable', are, naturally seasoned and prepared for pain and misery.!!

"I am persuaded, that neither death', nor life'; nor angels', nor principalities', nor powers'; nor things presepi', nor things to come'; nor height', nor depth '; por any other creature', shall be able to separate us from the love of God.”

The reader who would wish to see a minute and ingenious investigation of the pature of these inflections, and the rules by which they are governed, may consult Walker's Elements of Elocation.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

WHEN wa are reading vorse, there is a peculiar difficulty is making the pauses justly. The difficulty arises from the melody of verse which dictates to the ear pauses or rests of its own : and, to adjust and compound these properly with the pauses of the sease, so as neither to burt the ear, nor offend the understanding, is so very nice a matter, that it is no wonder we so seldom meet with good readers of poetry. There are two kinds of pauses that belong to the melody of verse : one is the pause, at the end of the line ; and the other, the cæsural pause in 'or near the middle of it. With regard to the pause at the end of the line, which marks that strain or ver se to be finished, rhyme renders this always sensible ; and in some measure compels us to observe it in our pronunciation. In respect to blank verse we ought also to read it so as to make every line sepsible to the ear ; for, what is the use of melody, or for what end has the poet composed in verse, if, in reading his lines, we suppress his numbers, by' omitting the final pause ; and degrade them, by our pronunciation, into mere prose? At the same time that we attend to this pause, every appearance of sing song and tone, must be carefully guarded against. The close of the line where it makes no pause in the meaning, ought not to be marked by such a tone as is used in finishing a sentence ; but, without either fall or elevation of the voice, it should be denoted only by so slight a suspension of sound, as · may distinguish the passage from one line to another, without injuring the meaning.

The other kind of melodious pause, is that which falls somewhere about the middle of the verse, and divides it into two hemistichs; a pause, not so great as that which belongs to the close of the line, but still sepsible to an ordinary ear. This, which is called the cæsural pause, may fall, in English heroic verse, atter the 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th syllable in the line. Where the verse is so constructed, that this cæsural pause coincides with the slight

[ocr errors]

est pause or division in the sense, the line can be read easily ; as in the two first verses of Pope's Messiah :

- Ye nymphs of Solyma!! begin the song ;

"To beav'nly themes", sublimer strains belong." But if it should happen that words which have so strict and inti mate a connexion, as not to bear even a momentary separation, are divided from one another by this cæsural pausc, we then feet a sort of struggle between the sense and the sound, which renders it difficult to read such lines harmoniously. The rule of proper pronunciation in such cases, is to regard only the pause which The sense forms; and to read the line accordingly. The neglect of the cæsural pause may make the line sound somewhat unharmoniously; but the effect would be much worse, if the sense were sacrificed to the sound. For instance, in the following lines of Milton :

- What in me is dark,

“ Illumine ; what is low, raise and support.” The sense clearly dictates the pause after illumine, at the end of the 3d syllable, which, in reading, ought to be made accordingly ; though, if the melody only were to be regarded, illumine should be conuected with what follows, and the pause not made till the fourth or sixth syllable. So in the following line of Pope's Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot:

“I sit, with sad civility I read." The ear plainly points out the cæsural pause as falling after sad, the 4th syllable. But it would be very bad reading to make any pause there, so as to separate sad and civility. The sense admits of no other pause than after the second syllable sit, which therefore must be the only pause made in reading this part of the sentence.

There is another mode of dividing some verses, by introducing what may be called demi-cæsuras, which require very slight pauso es; and which the reader should manage with judgment, or he will be apt to fall into an affected sing-song mode of pronouncing verses of this kind. The following lines exemplify the demi-cæsura:

6 Warms in the sun" refreshes' in the breeze,
“ Glows in the stars", and blossoms in the trees ;
56 Lives' through all life" ; extends through all extent,

" Spreads' undivided", operates' unspent." Before the conclusion of this introduction, the compiler takes the liberty to reccommend to teachers, to exercise their pupils in discovering and explaining the emphatic words, and the proper tones and pauses, of every portion assigned them to read, previously to their being called out to the performance. These preparatory lessons, in which they should be regularly examined, will improve their judgment and taste ; preyent the practice of reading without attention to the subject; and establish a habit of readily discovering the meaning, force, and beauty of what they peruse.

THE ENGLISH READER:

PART I.
· PIECES IN PROSE.

CHAPTER I.

SELECT SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS.

SECTION I.

DILIGENCE, industry, and proper improvement of time are material duties of the young.

The acquisition of knowledge is one of the most honourable occupations of youth.

Whatever useful or engaging endowments we possess, virtue is requisite, in order to their shining with proper lustre.

Virtuous youth gradually brings forward accomplished and flourishing manhood.

Sincerity and truth form the basis of every virtue.

Disappointments and distress are often blessings in disguise.

Change and alteration form the very essence of the world.

True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to. pomp and noise.

In order to acquire a capacity for happiness, it must be our first study to rectify inward disorders...

Whatever purifies, fortifies also the heart.

From our eagerness to grasp, we strangle and destroy pleasure.

NOTE-In the first chapter, the compiler has exhibited sentences in a great variety of construction, and in all the diversity of punctuation, if well practiced upon, he presumes they will fully prepare the young reader for the various pauses, inflections, and modulations of voice, which the succeeding pieces require.

A temperate spirit, and moderate expectations, are excellent safegaurds of the mind, in this uncertain and chang. ing state.

There is nothing, except simplicity of intention, and purity of principle, that can stand the test of near approach and strict examination.

The value of any possession is to be chiefly estimated by the relief which it can bring us in the time of our greatest need.

No person who has once yielded up the government of his mind, and given loose rein to his desires and passions can tell how far they may carry him.

Tranquillity of mind is always most likely to be attained, when the business of the world is tempered with thoughtful and serious retreat.

He who would act like a wise man, and build his house on the rock, and not on the sand, should contemplate haman life, not only in the sunshine but in the shade.

Let usefulness and beneficence, not ostentation and vanity, direct the train of your pursuits.

To maintain a steady and unbroken miod, amidst all the shocks of the world, marks a great and noble spirit.

Patience, by preserving composure within, resists the impression which trouble makes from without.

Compassionate affections, even when they draw tears from our eyes for human inisery, convey satisfaction to the heart.

They who have nothing to give, can often afford relief to others, by imparting what they feel.

Our ignorance of what is to come, and of what is really good or evil, should correct ansiety about worldly success.

The veil which covers from our sight the events of suce ceedings years, is a veil woven by the hand of mercy.

The best preparation for all the uncertainties of futurity, consists in a well ordered mind, a good conscience, and a cheerful submission to the will of Heaven.

SECTION II. The chief misfortunes that befal us in life, can be traced to some vices or follies which we have committed. .

Were we to survey the chambers of sickness and distress, we should often find them peopled with the victims of intemperance and sensuality, and with the children of vicious indolence and sloth,

To be wise in our own eyes, to be wise in the opinion of

« AnteriorContinuar »