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Penultimate Member.

An exception to the foregoing rules forms another rule, which forbids us, without absolute necessity, to adopt the falling inflexion on the last member but one. This rule is founded on the natural perception of harmony in the ear, which has as much disike to a too great fimilitude of consecutive sounds as the understanding has to a want of sufficient distinction between members differently connected. When this distinction, therefore, is sufficiently obvious, and no improper connection is formed by using the right inflexion, the ear always requires this inflexion on the penultimate member; for as the last member must almost always be terminated by the falling inflexion at the period, a falling inflexion immediately preceding it in the penultimate member, would be too sudden a repetition of nearly similar sounds: hence arises the propriety of the following rules.

Rule I. Every member of a sentence immediately preceding the last, requires the rising inflexion.

EXAMPLES Aristotle tells us, that the world is a copy or transcript of those ideas which are in the mind of the first Béing; and that those ideas which are in the mind of man are a transcript of the world : to this we may add, that words are the transcript of those ideas which are in the mind of mán, and that writing or printing are the transcript of wòrds. Spekt. N° 166.

In this example, if there were no connection between the two last members from the antithesis they contain, the rising inflexion would be necessary at the end of the penultimate member, for the sake of sound,

In short, a modern Pindaric writer, compared with Pindar, is like a fifter among the Camisars, compared with Virgil's Sybil : there is the distortion, grimace, and outward figure, but nothing of that divine impulse which raises the mind above itself, and makes the founds more than human. Speet. N° 160.

The florist, the planter, the gardener, the husbandman, when they are accomplishments to the man of fortune, are great reliefs to a country life, and many ways useful to those who are possessed of them. Ibid. No 93.

In the first of these examples the sentence might have finished at itself, and in the last at life ; for the succeeding members do not modify them, but, as they are penultimate members, they necessarily require the rising inflexion.

He has annexed a secret pleasure to the idea of any thing that is new or uncommon, that he might encourage us in the pursuit after knowledge, and engage us to search into the wonders of his creation; for every new idea brings such a pleasure along with it as rewards any pains we have taken in the acquisition, and consequently serves as a motive to put us upon fresh discoveries. ibid. No 413.

In this example, we see that it is not the perfect sense of a member which alone qualifies it for the falling inflexion; it must be followed by one member at least, which does not admit this pause; otherwise it is transferred from the first to the succeeding member, which is the case in this example. The first compound member forms perfect sense at the word knowledge, and the succeeding member is not necessarily connected with it: but as this member forms perfect sense likewise, and is followed by one, which cannot be united with it by the comma or rising inflexion; therefore, to avoid the ill effect of two successive pauses exactly

· the same, the falling inflexion must be placed on the word cration.

Rule il. As a farther illustration of this, we may observe, that when the first member forms perfect sense, and is followed by two members necessarily connected, the falling inflexion must be placed on the first.

It shall ever be my ftudy to make discoveries of this nature in human life, and to settle the proper distinctions between the virtues and perféctions of mankind, and those false colours and resemblances of them that shine alike in the eyes of the vulgar.

Addifon. In this example, we may observe that the falling inflexion might have been placed on the second member, if the second and third members had not been necessarily connected by an antithesis; which shows that the falling inflexion requires the member it is placed on, not only to have perfect sense independent on the succeeding member, but at the same time requires the succeeding member to be dependent on a third.


emphatnd the latinember th

Emphasis, which controls every other rule in reading, forms an exception to this; which is, that where an emphatic word is in the first member of a sentence, and the last has no emphatical word, this penultimate member then terminates with the falling inflexion.

EXAMPLES. I must therefore desire the reader to remember, that by the pleasures of the imagination, I meant only such pleasures as arise originally from sight; and that I divide these pleasures in two kinds. Speet. No 411.

In this sentence the word sight is emphatical, and therefore, though in the penultimate member, must not have the rising, but the falling inflexion, as this is the inflexion best suited to the sense of the emphatic phrase. See article Emphasis.

The person he chanced 'to see was, to appearance, an old fordid blind man; but upon his following him from place to place, he at last found, by his own confession, that he was Plutus, the God of Riches; and that he was just come out of the house of a miser. Spectator, No 464.

In this sentence the words God of Riches, as opposed to the words old fordid blind man, are emphatical, and, therefore, though in the penultimate member, require the falling inflexion. The same may be observed of the word most in the following sentence:

If they do not acquiesce in his judgment, which, I think, never happened above once or twice at mòft, they appeal to me.

In this sentence we find the connection interrupted, and the cadence injured, by giving the falling inflexion to the word most ; but if we were to give this word the rising inflexion for the sake of preserving the cadence and connection, we should lose so much force as would render this pronunciation less eligible upon the whole. The author, therefore, is answerable for this incompatibility of the strongest sense with the best sound, and the reader is reduced to choose the lesser evil.

The same variance between emphasis and connection may be observed in the following sentence:

Religious hope does not only bear up the mind under her sufferings, but makes her rejoice in them, as they may be the means of procuring her the great and ultimate end of all her hope. Spectator, No 471.

Here we see the word rejoice, in opposition, bear up the mind, require, from its being emphatical, the falling inflexion; and yet, from its being modified by what follows, it ought to have the rising.

As a corollary to the former rules, it follows, that if a loose sentence, having one member forming perfect sense, and not modified by what follows, is succeeded by another member, which forms perfect sense likewise, unmodified by succeeding members; that as often as members of this kind occur, without finishing the fentence, they ought to be marked with semicolons, or colons, and pronounced, like a series, with the falling inflexion.

EXAMPLES. This persuasion of the truth of the gospel, without the evi. dence which accompanies it, would not have been so firm and fo dùrable ; it would not have acquired new force with age : It would not have refifted the torrent of time, and have passed from age to age to our own days.

In this example a perfect sentence might be formed at durable; and as it is not modified by what follows, it ought to have the falling inflexion : A perfect sentence might also be formed at age; which, being under the same predicament as the former member, requires the falling inflexion likewise: a sentence in the same manner might be formed at time; but as this is the penultimate member, it must necessarily adopt the rising inflexion, according to the rule laid down in the preceding article.

It may be necessary to observe, that when these members of sentences marked with a semicolon, or colon, follow each other in a series, though they must all have the falling inflexion,

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