Page images
PDF
EPUB

val on

Emphasis of the Downward Concrete Octave. - The learner scarcely need be informed, that this expresses the highest degree of this species of emphasis, or that it is of rare occurrence. Dr. Rush thinks that the following passage cannot be uttered with dramatic effect, but by giving this form of emphasis on the word "hell.”

So frowned the mighty combatants, that Hell

Grew darker at their frown. The following example will illustrate the discrete rise of a third on “that," and the discrete fall of the same inter

" too." Cassius. They shouted thrice; what was the last cry for ? Casca. Why, for that too.

The downward discrete fifth or octave, for the purpose of emphasis, is believed to be very rare. They cannot be made from the current melody; nor is the voice ever sufficiently high to admit of such a fall, except when it has been carried up to give emphasis to a preceding word; and then the fall is generally to be considered only as a simple return to the current melody. If in any case, such return is made on an immutable and emphatic syllable, then such discrete fall may be construed as a form of emphasis, and would be the only one that could properly be used.

IV. EMPHASIS OF THE WAVE. In practice, as in theory, it is believed that the number and variety of the waves is very great. They may be equal or unequal, single or double, direct or inverted; and in any of these, the individual constituents may be varied from a semitone to an octave, though the intermediate intervals of a second, third, or fifth. A full illustration of this subject will not be attempted.

This form of emphasis can only be used on syllables of long quantity; and expresses, according to its forms, sur prise and admiration, sneer and scorn.

1. EMPHASIS OF THE EQUAL WAVE.

EXAMPLES. Equal Wave of the Semitone. When the semitone is employed to give distinction to long syllables, it usually takes the form of the wave. This however gives it no new expression: it remains the symbol of plaintiveness.

I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
And turning from my nursery window drew

A long, long sigh, and wept a last adien. Equal Wave of the Second.—This has no peculiar expression of its own. It is exhibited in all the examples, when properly read, which illustrate either the Temporal or the Median Emphasis; to these the learner would do well again to recur.

Equal Wave of the Third, and of the Fifth.-
1. Yond' Cassius has a lean and hun-gry look.
2.

Hadst thou alleged
To thy deserted host this cause of flight,

Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive. 3. Beyond that, I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant, that in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise.

God grant, that on my vision, never may be opened what lies behind.

The foregoing may be considered as good examples of the wave of the third. The following may be read with the same wave on the emphatic syllables, though their full power cannot be developed but by the use of the wave of the fifth.

1.

And breath'st defiance here and scorn
Where I reign King ? and to enrage thee more

Thy King and lord !
2. So much the rather thou, celestial Light,

Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers

Irradiate. 3. I formed them free

They them-selves ordained their fall.

In the following example, the first two syllables in italics may receive the direct equal wave of the second; “Ishould take the wave of the third, and “we” of the fifth.

Brutus. 'Tis very like: he hath the falling sickness.
Cassius. No, Cæ-sar hath it not; but you and I,

And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness. Note.-In general it is believed, the Double wave has the same expression indicated by the single wave, and only heightens it by increasing the quantity of the syllable which receives the emphasis. Nor does the Inverted wave always give a different expression from the Direct; but sometimes seems to be used for the sake of variety. When however the last constituent of the wave, whether single or double, rises through the interval of a fifth or octave, it gives the expression of interrogation; as when it takes the falling through these intervals, it gives the expression of strong surprise.

2. EMPHASIS OF THE UNEQUAL Wave. The natural expression of inequality in the constituents of the wave, is scorn and contempt. In dignified discourse this sentiment is expressed by combining with the equal wave the vanishing stress, or the aspiration. With out the employment of these elements, the language of sarcasm and irony loses all its point.

Dr. Rush gives the following as examples of the Unequal Single Wave.-The word “boy," in the first, is pronounced with the rise of a fifth, and the subsequent fall of an octave.

False hound!
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there
That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
Fluttered your Volces in Corioli;

Alone I did it.-Boy! In the following, “yea” may be read with the rise of a tone or a third, connected with the fall of a third or fifth.

For, from this day forth,
I'll use you fot my mirth, yea, for my laughter,

When you are waspish. The second“ wrong" in the following line, may be read with the rise of a semitone and a fall of a third or fifth.

You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus. Emphasis of the Unequal Double Wave.- To be properly uttered, the waves all require quantity; but the double wave, especially requires that the syllable on which it is given should be susceptible of indefinite time. It is heard in peevish expression, in the colloquial cant of common life, and often heightens the effect of dramatic sentiment.

This element may be exhibited on the word “they,” as repeated in the following example:

They tell us to be moderate, while they, they revel in profusion.

It may be suggested to the learner, as one of the modes of exhibiting the sentiment and feeling of the above passage, to pronounce “us” with a rapid movement of the voice through the direct double wave of the second; the first “they," with the direct single wave of the third ; and to give to this word when repeated the double wave having its first constituent the rising third, the second the falling fifth, and the third the rise of a second.-Other modes of inflection might be suggested.

V, EMPHASIS OF FORCE. This form of emphasis is specially suited to short syllables, and differs but little in its sound or its expression from the radical emphasis when combined with short quantity. This however is characterized by the same fullness of force throughout its whole extent, without the gradual vanish of the radical emphasis. The following will suffice as examples :1. Tell your invaders this, and tell them, too, we seek no change;

and least of all such a change as they would bring us. 2.

Therefore as far From granting he, as I from beg-ging peace. The Emphasis of the Vocule, is but the Emphasis of Force applied to a word consisting mainly of atonics, and terminated by a mute. When such a word is followed by a pause, this seems one of the most forcible modes of emphasis. The employment of this element, however, requires great care, as it is so much more frequently used improperly than otherwise. Nothing short of the most vehement feeling authorizes its use.

EXAMPLES.
1. Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate.
2.

What though the field be lost ?
All is not lost; the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,–
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me.

VI. EMPHASIS OF QUALITY. Of the different kinds of voice mentioned in the last chapter, but three seem to be employed for purposes of

« PreviousContinue »