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phrases. This “ discharging ” of “expression, as it may be termed, - in reference to the analogous process of discharging ink or color from the surface of an object, will, of course, take place by a reduction, abatement, or depression, of one or all the elements of vocal effect. The “arbitrary emphasis ” may, at the pleasure of the reader, heighten the “ expression” arising from “ quality,” force, pitch,“ slide,' “ melodial phrase," " time,” “ quantity, ment,” &c.; so may the “ reduction ” of emphasis, diminish or subdue, or destroy any or all of these.
Arbitrary emphasis," and “ reduction ” may be employed where but a single parenthetic word intervenes to break the current of language; as in the sentence, “ The sprout was carefully protected by a stratum, or layer, of leaves.” The words “
and “ leaves's are, in this instance, pronounced with a slight additional force, an enlarged interval of "slide" and prolonged “ quantity; ;" while the words " or layer" are reduced in force, shortened in “quantity,” and levelled into “ monotone,” in the manner of parenthesis.
The following example will exhibit the same effects more distinctly ; as poetic language is naturally more expressive than prose.
“ On the other side,
In the arctic sky." The arrangement of the words, in this sentence, throws the word “burned” into a parenthetic situation, in consequence of the grammatical connexion between the words “ comet” and “ that." To atone to the ear for this verbal dislocation, the word “ comet” takes on an additional force, a lower " slide," a longer “ quantity” in its accented syllable, and a more descriptive swell of “
stress,” than it would otherwise have. The line, " That fires,”' &c., is also read with a resuming force of expression, borrowed, as it were, from the style of voice in the word “comet ;" while the word “burned," (which, as being a descriptive verb, must possess a degree of accent,) is rendered parenthetic in effect, by being thrown into “ monotone, instead of a downward " slide,” and by being somewhat reduced in force, and raised in pitch ; while its descriptive power is retained by prolonged “ quantity” and “ median swell.”
The following examples will illustrate the effect of “arbitrary emphasis ” and “ reduction,” where a clause is to be partially parenthesized, so as to preserve the connexion of sense, on each side of it.
· Say first, for Heaven, (hides nothing from thy view,) Nor the deep tract of hell.”
1 The crotchets of parenthesis are introduced here, not as belonging to the text, but as an ocular aid, with a view to suggest the proper style of reading, to the ear.
“ Thus while he spake, each passion (dimmed his face Thrice changed with pale,) ire, envy, and despair :"
“ There was a Brutus once that would have brooked (The eternal Devil to keep his state in Rome)
As easily as a king." The student may analyze for himself the effect of the “ arbitrary emphasis ” and “ reduced expression,” as indicated by the italics and the parenthesis.
The slight, level, and rapid “expression,” which takes place on clauses such as that included within crotchets, Dr. Rush has termed the “flight of the voice, and the emphatic connecting “ expression,” the “emphatic tie.”
The effect of these modifications of voice will be rendered still more apparent by longer examples.
“He stood, and called
The same mode of reading applies to all actual parentheses, or similar qualifying phrases, and their context; as in the following instances, from Scripture.
“ Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed: not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, “I have made thee a father of many nations,') before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not, as though they were.”
“For as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law, (for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified; for when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves : which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts, the meanwhile, accusing, or else excusing one another;) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
[ZANGA, RELATING THE ORIGIN OF HIS HATRED OF ALONZO.] - Young.
“ 'T is twice three years since that great man,
“One day, (may that returning day be night,
(While I tell it do I live ?)
[CORPORAL TRIM's ELOQUENCE.] — Sterne.
My young master in London is dead,” said Obadiah.
“ Here is sad news, Trim,”. cried Susannah, wiping her eyes as Trim stepped into the kitchen, —“master Bobby is dead.”
“ I lament for him from my heart and my soul,” – said Trim, fetching a sigh,- “ Poor creature !-poor boy !--poor gentleman!”
“He was alive last Whitsuntide,” said the coachman. “ Whitsuntide! alas !”? cried Trim, extending his right arm, and falling instantly into the same attitude in which he read
“What is Whitsuntide, Jonathan,” (for that was the coachman's name,) " or Shrovetide, or any tide or time past, to this ? Are we not here now ?" ? continued the corporal, (striking the end of his stick perpendicularly upon the floor, so as to give an idea of health and stability,)“ and are we not” (dropping his hat upon the ground) “ gone! in a moment!” — It was infinitely striking! Susannah burst into
1 Phrases occurring between two dashes, are sometimes equivalent to a parenthesis in effect.
2 All intervening clauses and phrases, of whatever length, are read in the style of parenthesis.
a flood of tears. — We are not stocks and stones :- Jonathan, Obadiah, the cookmaid, all melted. — The foolish fat scullion herself, who was scouring a fish-kettle upon her knees, was roused with it. — The whole kitchen crowded about the corporal.
“ Are we not here now,—and gone in a moment?” There was nothing in the sentence:- it was one of your self-evident truths we have the advantage of hearing every day; and if Trim had not trusted more to his hat than his head, he had made nothing at all of it.
“ Are we not here now?” continued the corporal," and are we not” (dropping his hat plump upon the ground, - and pausing before he pronounced the word) “gone! in a moment!” — The descent of the hat was as if a heavy lump of clay had been kneaded into the crown of it. — Nothing could have expressed the sentiment of mortality,— of which it was the type
and forerunner, ,-like it: his hand seemed to vanish from under it; it fell dead; the corporal's eye fixed upon it, as upon a corpse ;—and Susannah burst into a flood of tears."
Emphasis, fully defined for the purposes of elocution, is prominent "expression," embodied in an accented syllable. It bears the same relation to “expression,” in its full sense, that “syllabic accent” bears to “ rhythmical accent.” It may be restricted to a single word: “expression” applies, as in music, to the sequence of sounds, in connected and consecutive utterance, designed for the communication of feeling. .
“ Expression,” however, while it contains the same elements with emphasis, comprises a few more. It includes the effects arising from " quality," in all its forms, “pure,” “aspirated,” &c., and from the "effusive," " expulsive," and "explosive” modes of utterance; from force in all its gradations, from whispering to shouting; “stress,” in its “radical," “median,” “vanishing," "compound," and "thorough' forms;
tremor ;' " melody,” “ pitch,” « slide,” and “ wave,"
- for a
in all their forms; “time,” in all its influence over “movement,” “rhythm,” and metre. These modifications of voice have all been discussed and exemplified. But to all these, “expression” adds the effect of " drift," as it has been termed by Dr. Rush,-or, in other words, the impression produced on the ear by the frequent or successive recurrence of any mode or element of expression."
“ Drift,” accordingly, is either an excellence or a fault, according to the circumstances in which it is adopted as a mode of effect. When a passage is so pervaded by one mood of feeling, and by one style of language and of structure, and even by one form of phrase, that a special unity of effect is obviously designed, as a result in audible expression, - a frequent trait of declamatory eloquence and even of poetic emotion, to which metre still farther contributes, the
-or frequently recurring " quality,” force, “stress," “ melody,” pitch, slide, wave, "." movement,” or “ rhythm,"
"drift ” may be constituted by the frequent recurrence of one, or of several, or of all of these accidents of voice, — has the effect of deepening the impression arising from the sentiment as a whole. Hence we may observe that the “drift,” of recurring “ melody," or what, in popular language, is termed a “tone,” is often a means of powerful and deep impression on the ear and on the external sympathies of an audience, when there is little of unity, force, or weight, in the sentiment which the speaker utters.
The ear of discerning judgment and of true taste, however, is always offended, rather than pleased, by any perceptible drift not authorized by a predominating emotion associated with the language of a speaker, or the composition in the hands of a reader. Still, a gentle and chaste “ drift” is one of the natural secrets of effect, in elocution, and should be carefully observed and closely analyzed, by every student who is desirous of securing a master-key to the human heart.
It is unnecessary to dwell on this subject after the discussion and exemplification of emphasis. We will conclude with referring to two examples which will fully illustrate the effect of “ drift.” Let the student read aloud, with well-marked “expression,” the first example of “impassioned emphasis," (the reply of Coriolanus to the tribunes,) and watch the impression produced on the ear by the recurrence of those vehement and infuriated downward " slides,” which occur in the words marked by italics and capitals : and he will obtain a clear idea of the effect arising from the 56 drift” of that “slide." The student may then turn to the Appendix, and read aloud, for the sake of a wide contrast in “ drift," the tender, pathetic, and “ chromatic” lines illustrative of “feminine grief and sorrow,” under the head of 66
SEMITONE,” in which will be found the opposite “ drift" of recurring “ semitone,” and other psevailing properties of kindred character.