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errors are more difficult to be corrected. To pronounce with a proper degree of slowness, and with full and clear articulation, is necessary to be studied by all who wish to become good readers; and it cannot be too much recoman mended to them. Such a pronunciation gives weight and dignity to the subject. It is a great assistance to the voice, by the pauses and rests which it allows the reader more easily to make; and it enables the reader to swell all his sounds, both with more force and :nore harmony.
Propriety of Pronunciation. AFTER the fundamental attentions to the pitch and management of the voice, to distinct articulation, and to a proper degree of slowness of speech, what the young reader must, in the next place, study, is propriety of pronuna ciation; or, giving to every word which he utters, that sound which the bat usage of the language appropriates to it; in opposition to broad, vulgar, or provincial pronunciation. This is requisite both for reading intelligibly, and for reading with correctness and ease. Instructions concerning this article may be best given by the living teacher. But there is one observation, which it may not be improper here to make. In the English language, every word wnich consists of more syllables than one, has one accented syllable. The accent rests sometimes on the vowel, sometimes on the consonant. The genius of the language requires the voice to mark that syllable by a stronger percussion, and to pass more slightly over the rest. Now, after we nare learned the proper seats of these accents, it is an important rule, to give every word just the same accent in reading, as in common discourse. Many per, fons err in this respect. When they read to others, and with solemnity, they pronounce the syllables in a different manner from what they do at other times. They dwell upon them, and protract them; they multiply accents on the samo words, from a mistaken notion, that it gives gravity and importance to their gubject, and adds to the energy of their delivery. Whereas this is one of the greatest faults that can be committed in pronunciation; it makes what is called a pompous or mouthing manner; and gives an artificial, affected air lo reading, which detracts greatly both from its agreeableness and its impression.
Sheridan and Walker have published dictionaries, for ascertaining the true and best pronunciation of the words of our language. By attentively con: sulting them, particularly “Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary,” the young reader will be much assisted, in his endeavours to attain a correct pronuncia. iion of the words belonging to the English language.
Emphasis. BY emphasis is meant a stronger and fuller sound of voice, by which we distinguish some word or words, on which we design to lay particular stress, and to show how they affect the rest of the sentence. Sometimes the empha. tic words must be distinguished by a particular tone of voice, as well as by a particular stress. On the right management of the emphasis depends the fire of pronunciation. If no emphasis be placed on any words, not only is dis ovurse rendered heavy and lifeless, but the meaning left often ambiguous. 12 the emphasis be placed wrong, we pervert and confound the meaning wholly.
Emphasis may be divided into the superior and the inferior emphasis. The superior emphasis determines the meaning of a sentence, with reference to something said before, presupposed by the author as general knowledge, or removes an ambiguity, where a passage may have more senses than one. The inferior emphasis on forces, graces, and enlivens, but does not fix, the meaning of any passage. The words to which this latter emphasis is given, are in general, such as seem the most important in the sentence, or on other accounts, to merit this distinction. The following passage will serve to ex. emplify the superior emphasis :
Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Sing, heavenly Muse!" Supposing that originally other beings besides men, had disobeyed the commands of the Almighly, and that the circumstance were well knowa to
We, there would fall an emphasis upon the word man's in the first line; and hence, it would read thus:
“Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit," &c. But if it were a notorious truth, 'that mankind had transgressed in a pecu liar manner more than once, the einphasis would fall on first; and the line be read,
“Of man's first disobedience," &c. Again, admitting death (as was really the case) to have been an unheard of and dreadful punishment, brought upon man in consequence of his trans gression; on that supposition the third line would be read,
“ Brought death into the world,” &c. But if we were to suppose, that mankind knew there was such an evil as death in other regions, though the place they inhabited had been free from it till their transgression, the line would run thus :
Brought death into the world,” &c. The superior emphasis finds place in the following short sentence, which admils of four distinct meanings, each of which is ascertained by the empha. vis only,
“ Do you ride to town to-day?” The following examples illustrate the nature and use of the inferior em.. phasis; “Many persons mistake the love, for the practice of virtue.”
“ Shall I reward his services with falschood ? Shall I forget him who can. aot forget me ?”
“ If his principles are false, no apology from himself can make them rights I founded in truth, no censure from others can make them wrong."
“ Though deep, yet elear; though gentle, yet not dudll;
Strong, without rage; without o'erflowing, full." "A friend cxaggerates a man's virtues; an enemy, his crimes." “ The wise man is happy, when he gains his own approbation; the fool, when he gains that of others,"
The superior emphasis, in reading as in speaking, must be determined enirely by the sense of the passage, and always made alike; but as to the inser ior emphasis, laste alone seems to have the right of fixing its situation and uantity.
Among the number of persons, who have had proper opportunities of learnis to read, in the best manner it is now taught, very few could be selected, ho, in a given instance, would use the inferior emphasis alike, either as to face or quantity. Some persons, indeed, use scarcely any degree of it: and hers do not scruple to carry it far beyond any thing to be found in common iscourse; and even sometimes throw it upon words so very trifling in them. Hres, that it is evidently done with no other view, than to give a greater va. ety to the modulation. * Notwithstanding this diversity of practice, there te certainly proper boundaries, within which this emphasis must be restrain.
, in order to make it meet the approbation of sound judgment and correct loote. It will doubtless have different degrees of exertion, according to the greater or less degree of importance of the words upon which it operates ; and there may be very properly some variety in the use of it: but its applica. lon is not arbitrary, depending on the caprice of readers.
As emphasis often falls on words in different parts of the same sentence, no it is frequently required to be continued, with a little variation, on two, and bodaetimes more words together. The following sentences exemplify both the
By modulation is meant, that pleasing variety of voice, which is perceiv. ed in uttering a sentence, and which in its nature, is perfectly distinct from beaphasis, and the tones of emotion and passion, The young reader should be careful to render his modulation correct and easy; and, for this purpose, bould form it upon the model of the most judicious and accurate speakers
parts of this position: “ If you seek to make one rich, study not to increa
turc-writing, represent things, not words; they exhibit images lo the cyc. “not ideas to the understanding."
Some sentences are so full and comprehensive, that almost every word is no emphatical: as, “Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains !" or 946 that pathetic expostulation in the prophecy of Ezekiel, “Why will yc die!" *
Emphasis, besides its other offices, is the great regulator of quantity, Though the quantity of our syllables is fixed, in words separately pronounced, yet it is mutable, when these words are arranged in sentences; the long being changed into short, the short into long, according to the importance of the word with regard to meaning. Emphasis also, in particular cases, alters the seat of the accent. This is demonstrable from the following examples: “He shall increase, but I shall decrease.” “ There is a differerice between giving and forgiving.” “ In this species of composition, plausibility is much more essential than probability.”. In these examples, the emphasis requires the. accent to be placed on syllables to which it does not commonly belong.
In order to acquire the proper management of the emphasis, ihe great rule to be given is, that the reader study to attain a just conception of the force and spirit of the sentiments which he is to pronounce. For to lay the em: pliasis with exact propricty, is a constant cxercise of good sense and atteniion. It is far from being an inconsiderable altainment. It is one of the most decisive trials of a true and just taste; and must arise from feeling delicately ourselves, and from judging accuraiely of what is filless to strike the feelings of others.
There is one error against which it is particularly proper to caution the learner; namely, that of multiplying emphatical words too much, and using, the emphasis indiscriminately. It is only by a prudent reserve and distince tion in the use of them, that we can give them any weight. If they recur too often ; if a reader attempts to render every thing he expresses, of high importance, by a multitude of strong emphasis, we soon learn to pay little rem gard to them. To crowd every sentence with emphatical words, is like crowding all the pages of a book with Italic characters: which, as to the effect, is just the same as to use no such distinctions at all.
Tones. TONES are different both from emphasis and pauses; consisting in the notes or variations of sound which we employ, in the expression of our sen., timents.. Emphasis affects particular words and phrases, with a degree or tone, or inflexion of voice; but tones, peculiarly so called, affect sentences, paragraphs, and some times the whole of a discourse.
To show the use and necessity of tones, we need only observe, that the mind, in communicating its ideas, is in a constant state of activity, emotion, or agitation, from the different effects which those ideas produce in the speaker. Now the end of such communication being not merely to lay open the ideas, but also the different feelings which they excite in him who utters them, there must be other signs than words, to manifest those feelings; as words uttered in a monotonous manner can represent only a similar state of mind, perfectly frce from all activity and emotion. As the communication of these internal feelings was of much more consequence in our social intercourse, than the mere conveyance of ideas, the Author of our being did not, as in that cons veyance, leave the invention of the language of emotion to man; but imor pressed it himself upon our nature, in the same manner as he has done with: regard to the rest of the animal world; all of which express their various feelings, by various tones. Ours, indeed, from the superior rank that we hold, are in a high degree more comprehensive; as there is not an act of the mind, an exertion of the fancy,
or an emotion of the heart, which has not its pecue liar tone, or note of the voice, by which it is to be expressed ; and which is suited exactly to the degree of internal feeling. It is chiefly in the proper
use of these tones, that the life, spirit, beauty, and harmony of delivery consists
The Jiinits of this introduction do not adnit of examples, to illustrate the variety of tones belonging to the different passions and emotions. We shally nowever, select one, which is extracted from the beautiful lamentation of Da, vid.over Sacl aud Jonathan, and which will, in some degree, elucidate when
s been said on this subject. " The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy bigla * Places ; how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath; publish it not ia
the streets of Askelon ; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice ; lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let
there be no dew nor rain upon you, nor fields of offerings; for there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away; the shield of Saul, as though he " had not bcen anointed with oil." The first of these divisions, expresses sorrow and lamentation; therefore the note is low. The next contains a spirited command, and should be pronounced much higher. The other sene tence, in which he makes a pathetic address to the mountains where his friends had been slain, must be expressed in a note quite different from the two former; not so low as the first, nor so high as tnc second, but in a manly, firm, and yet plaintive tone.
The correct and natural language of the emotions is not so difficult to be attained as most readers seem to imagine. If we enter into the spirit of the gåthor's sentiments, as well as into the meaning of bis words, we shall not fail to deliver the words in properly varied lones. For there are few people, who speak English without a provincial note, that have not an accurate use of lones, when they utter their sentimentsin earnest discourse. And the reason that they have not the same use of them in reading aloud the sentiments of others, may be traced to the very defective and erroneous method in which the art of reading is taught; whereby all the various, natural, espressivo lones of speech are suppressed; and a few artificial, unmeaning reading notes, are substituted for then).
But when we recommend to readers, an attention to the tone and language of oinotions, we must be understood to do it with proper limitation. Modera. tou is necessary in this point, as it is in other things. For when the reading becomes strictly imitative, assumes a theatrical manner, and must be highly improper, as well as give offence to the hearers ; because it is inconsistent with that delicacy and modesty which are indispensable on such occasions. The speaker who delivers his own emotions, must be supposed to be inore vivid and animated than would be proper in the person who relates then at necond hand.
We shall concludc this section with the following rule, for the tones that indicate the passions and emotions: “In reading, let all your tones of ex
pression be borrowed from those of common speech, but, in some degree, more faintly characterized. Let those tones which signify any disagreeable passion of the mind, be still more faint than those which indicate agrecable "emotions: and, on all occasions, preserve yourselves from being so far affected "with the subject, as to be unable to proceed through it with thai easy and mas. "terly manner, which has its good effects in this, as well as in every ot' er art."
Pauses. PAUSES, or rests, in speaking or reading, are a total cessation of the voice, during a perceptible, and, in many cases, a measurable space of time. Pauses are equally necessary to the speaker and the hearer. To the speaker, that he may take breath, without which he cannot proceed far in delivery, and that loc may, by these temporary rests, relieve the organs of speech which otherwise would be soon tired by continued action; to the hearer, that the ear, also, may be relieved from the fatigue which it would otherwise endure from a continulty of sound ; and that the understanding may have sufficient time to mark the distinction of sentences, and their several members,
There are two kinds of pauses: first, emphatical pauses; and noxt, such as mark the distinctions of senso. An emphatical pause is generally made after sometning has been said of peculiar moment, and on which we desire to fix the bearer's attention. Sometimes, before such a thing is said, we usher it in with a pause of this nature. Such pauses have the saine effect'as a strong empha. sis; and are subject to the saine rules ; especially to the caution of not re. peating them too frequently. For as they excite uncommon attention, and of course raise expectation, if the importance of the matter be not fully an. swerable to such expectation, they occasion disappointment and disgust,
But the most frequent and the principal use of pauses, is to mark the diri. gians of the sense, and at the same time to allow the reador to draw his breath;
****.*! :licate adjustment of such pauses, is one of the most vice
breath requires a gocd deal of carc, so as not to oblige us to divide words from one another, which have so intimate a connexion, that they ought to be pronounced with the same breath, and without the least separation. Many sentence is miserably mangled, and the force of the emphasis totally lost, by divisions being made in the wrong place. To avoid this, every one, while he is reading, should be very careful to provide a full supply of breath for what he is to utter. It is a great mistake to imagine, that the breath must be drawn only at the end of a period, when the voice is allowed to fall. It may easily be gathered at the intervals of the period, when the voice is suspended only for a moment; and, by this management, one may always have a sufficient stock for carrying on the longest sentence, without improper interruptions.
Pauses in reading must generally be formed upon the manner in which we utter ourselves in ordinary, sensible conversation; and not upon the stiff artificial manner, which is acquired from reading books according to the common punctuation. It will by no means be sufficient to attend to the points used.. in printing ; for these are far from marking all the pauses which cught to be made in reading. A mechanical attention to these resting places, has perhaps been one cause of monotony, by leading the reader to a similar tone at every stop, and a uniform cadence at every period. The primary use of points, is to assist the reader in discerning the grammatical constructon; and it is only as a secondary object, that they regulate its pronunciation. On this head, the following direction niay be of use: “Though in reading, g'at attention should be paid to the stops, yet a greater should be given to the Jense; and their correspondent times occasionally lengthened beyond what is usual in common specch.
To render pauses pleasing and expressive, they must not only be made in the right place, but also accompanied with a proper tone of voice, by which the nature of these pauses is intimated, much more than by the length of them, which can seldom be exactly measured. Sometimes it is only a slight and simple suspension 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, wher engaged in real and carnest discourse with others. The following sentence exemplifies the suspending and the closing pauses: "Hope, the balm of lífe, soothes us under every misfortune.” The first and second pauses are accom panied by an inflection of voice, that gives the hearer an expectation of some thing further to complete the sense: the inficction 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 ca. dence 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 inflection. 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 he gained by his folly!?" "Who will assist him” “Where is the messenger'? “When did he arrive'?”
When two questions are united in one sentence, and connected by the con. junction or, the first takes the rising, the second the falling inflection: as, * Does his conduct support discipline', or destroy it' ?"
The rising and falling inflections must not be confounded with emphasis.