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therefore be pronounced with the falling inflexion: it may be observed likewise, that these sentences are of the nature of those con. structed on conjunctions; as the last member of this would easily admit of then at the beginning, to show a kind of condition in the former, which corresponds with and modifies the latter.
Rule I. Every period, where the first part forms perfect sense by itself, but is modified or determined in its signification by the latter, has the rising inflexion and long pause between these parts as in the direct period. See p. 35.
EXAMPLES Gratian very often recommends the fine taste, as the utmost perfection of an accomplished man.
In this sentence, the first member ending at taste forms perfect sense, but is qualified by the last; for Gratian is not faid simply to recommend the fine taste, but to recommend it in a certain way; that is, as the utmost perfection of an accomplished man. The same may be observed of the following sentence:
Persons of good taste expect to be pleased, at the same time they are informed. Here perfect sense is formed at pleased; but it is not meant that persons of good taste are pleased in general, but with reference to the time they are informed: the words taste and pleased, therefore, in these sentences, we must pronounce with the rising inflexion, and accompany this inflexion with a pause. For the same reasons, the fame pause and inflexion
must precede the word though in the following examples:
I can desire to perceive those things that God has prepared for those that love him, though they be such as eye hath not seen, ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive. Locke.
The sound of love makes your soft heart afraid,
A loofe fentence has been shown to confift of a period, either direct or inverted, and an additional member which does not modify it; or, in other words, a loose sentence is a member containing perfect sense by itself, followed by some other member or members, which do not restrain or qualify its signification. According to this definition, a loose sentence must have that member which forms perfect sense detached from those that follow, by a long pause and the falling inflexion. See p. 36.
As, in speaking, the ear seizes every occasion of varying the tone of voice which the sense will permit; fo, in reading, we ought as much as possible to imitate the variety of speaking, by taking every opportunity of altering the voice in correspondence with the sense: the most general fault of printing, is to mark those members of loose sentences, which form perfect sense, with a comma, instead of a femi. colon, or colon; and a similar, as well as the most common fault of readers, is to suspend the voice at the end of these members, and so to run the sense of one member into another: by this means, the sense is obscured, and a mo. notony is produced, instead of that distinctness and variety which arises from pronouncing these members with such an inflexion of voice as marks a certain portion of perfect sense, not immediately connected with what follows; for as a member of this kind does not depend for its sense on the following member, it ought to be pronounced in such a manner, as to show its independence on the succeeding member, and its dependence on the period, as forming but a part of it.
In order to convey precisely the import of these members, it is necessary to pronounce them with the falling inflexion, without suffering the voice to fall gradually as at a period; by which means the pause becomes different from the mere comma, which suspends the voice, and marks immediate dependence on what follows; and from the period, which marks not only an independence on what follows, but an exclusion of whatever may follow, and therefore drops the voice as at a conclusion. As this inflexion is produced by a certain portion of perfect sense, which, in some degree, separates the member it falls on, from those that follow, it may not improperly be called the disjunctive inflexion. An example will assist us in comprehending this important inflexion in reading:
All superiority and pre-eminence that one man can have over another, may be reduced to the notion of quality ; which, considered at large, is either that of fortune, body or mind : the first is that which consists in birth, title, or rìches ; and is the most foreign to our natures, and what we can the least call our own, of any of the three kinds of quality. Spect. N° 219.
In the first part of this sentence, the falling inflexion takes place on the word quality ; for this member, we find, contains perfect sense, and the succeeding members are not necessarily connected with it: the same inflexion takes place in the next member on the word riches; which, with respect to the sense of the member it terminates, and its connection with the following members, is exactly under the same predicament as the former, though the one is marked with a comma, and the other with a semicolon, which is the common punctuation in all the editions of the Spectator: a very little reflection, however, will shew us the necessity of adopting the same pause and inflexion on both the above-mentioned words, as this inflexion not only marks more precisely the completeness of sense in the members they termi. nate, but gives a variety to the period, by making the first, and the succeeding members, end in a different tone of voice; if we were to read all the members as if marked with commas, that is, as if the sense of the members were absolutely dependent on each other, the necessity of attending to this inflexion of voice in loose sentences would more evidently appear. This division of a sentence is sometimes, and ought almost always to be marked with a semicolon, as in the following sentence at the word pollefs :
Foolish men are more apt to consider what they have lost than what they possèss ; and to fix their eyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than those who are under greater difficulties. Spectator, No 574.
But though we sometimes find these indés pendent members of sentences pointed properly by the semicolon, we much oftener see them marked only by a comma; and thus are they necessarily confounded with those members which are dependent on the succeeding member, where a comma is the proper punctuation. An and, a which, a where, or any of the connective words, commencing the succeeding member, is a sufficient reason with most prin. ters for pointing the preceding member with a comma, even where these connective words do not qualify the preceding member, and consequently do not join members together as they are parts of each other, but as they are parts of the period; which is the case in the examples already produced.
The following examples afford a proof of the necessity of adopting the falling inflexion, in order to separate the first member which contains perfect sense, from those which follow, let the punctuation be what it will.
The foul, considered abstractedly from its passions, is of a remiss and sedentary nature, low in its resolves, and languishing in its executions. Spe&tator, No 255.
The faculty (taste,) muft in some degree be born with us, and it very often happens, that those who have other qualities in perfection are wholly void of this. Ibid. N° 409.
This therefore is a good office (the planting of trees) which is suited to the mèaneft capacities, and which may be performed by multitudes, who have not abilities to deserve well of their country, and recommend themselves to their pofterity by any other method. Ibid. N° 583.
In these last examples we may observe, that the first member, which is distinguished by a comma in most editions of the Spectator, is