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emphatic distinction, viz., the Tremor, the Aspiration, and the Guttural voice.


The tremulous movement of the voice described in the last chapter is sometimes heard throughout short sentences; but is often confined to single words, in which case it becomes one of the elements of emphatic distinction. When combined with any other element than the semitone, it is the symbol of joy and exultation ; and when combined with this, it expresses tenderness and grief.


1. Thou art the ruins of the noblest man,

That ever lived in the tide of times. 2. Now give the hautboys breath, he comes,

he comes. 3. Forsake me not thus, Adam !

Bereave me not,
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,
My only strength and stay. Forlorn of thee,
Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?


EXAMPLES 1. Brutus. What means this shouting? I do fear, the people

Choose Cæsar for their King.

Ay, do you fear it? Then must I think you would not have it so. 2. Brutus. The name of Cassius honors this corruption,

And chastisement doth therefore hide his head. Cassius. Chastisement ! 3. Brutus. Peace, peace; you durst not so have tempted him.

Cassius. I durst not!


EXAMPLES. 1. I know thee not, nor ever saw till now

Sight more de-lest-able than him and thee. 2.

Whence these chains ?
Whence the vile death, which I may meet this moment?

Whence this dishonor, but from thee, thou false one ? The learner will find examples for his further practice in this important branch of elocution, in every piece of spirited composition he reads. He should first mark the words which are emphatic in the selection under examination, should satisfy himself, as to the most effective kind of emphatic distinction to be employed on each; and then should endeavor to execute the emphasis in the best manner of which he is capable. If the piece is to be recited, he should be careful to lay the stress on those words only which he had before so marked. The following additional remarks


render the learner further assistance in such practice.

1. Though the elements of emphasis have been treated separately, they are often combined on the same word or syllable; and some of them never occur alone: thus the Wave is always associated with Quantity, and usually with the Median Stress; and the Guttural voice is generally associated with the Aspiration.

2. The emphatic words are often, in themselves considered, very unimportant. Thus :If you did know to whom I

gave If you did know for whom I gave the ring, And would conceive for what I gave the ring, And how unwillingly I left the ring, When nought would be accepted but the ring, You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

the ring,

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3. Emphasis sometimes extends to several words, or an entire clause ; as, I came not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.—“Heaven and earth will witness, if Rome must fall, that we are innocent."

4. One of the objects of emphasis is to point out the antithetic relation of words; and to exhibit this most strongly, the emphasis of the Rising and Falling Slides and of the Direct and Inverted Wave are often opposed to each other, on the words thus related.—When the emphasis falls on a single word, in consequence of its importance in the sentence, it is called absolute emphasis; in case of antithesis, it is called relative emphasis. Several of these relations frequently occur in the same passage. Thus,—“The young are slaves to novelty, the old to custom.—“The hope of the righteous shall be gladness; but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

5. The emphasis of the Upward and Downward Slides, as also of the Waves, is often heightened by extending the movement to the unaccented syllables of the word on which it occurs. Examples:

What is it that a Roman would not suffer
That a Venetian prince must bear?

For no narrow frith he had to cross.
Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend,

yet because of his importunity he would rise and give him as

much as he needeth. 6. In the employment of emphasis, two cautions may be given to the learner; viz., -First, that he should never allow himself to use the Wave-particularly the Unequal Wave—where only the simple Slides are called for; and Second, that he should avoid all excessive formality, in marking the emphatic words. This seems to imply, on the part of the speaker, a distrust of the ability of his audience to perceive the force of his language unless accompanied with peculiar efforts to exhibit it.

Having explained at length the means by which emphatic distinction is imparted to words, and the general principles on which the emphasis depends, it may be expedient to give the learner the advantage of some more specific rules in relation to

RELATIVE EMPHASIS. To mark the relative distinction of words, the emphasis of the Rising and Falling intervals is generally used. No new element of emphasis then remains to be here introduced. Under this head it is proposed simply to develope a subordinate principle in emphasis, which makes the kind of emphatic distinction employed, sometimes to depend on the structure of the sentence, or at least to be coincident with it. This should be considered only as a secondary principle, having reference, like the Diatonic Slides, rather to the sound than to the sense; and liable, therefore, at any time, to be interrupted by the recurrence of the absolute emphasis. Having only euphony for its basis, as might be expected, there is not a perfect uniformity in the directions of elocutionists respecting it, or in the usage of good speakers. The following, it is believed, are all the rules that the learner can profit by, or that can be laid down without the danger of giving to speech an affected stiffness which ought not to belong to it.

RULE I. When the successive members of a sentence consist of two clauses which correspond to each other, the first clause in each takes the Rising, and the latter the Falling Slide.


1. Here regard to virtue opposes insensibility to shame; purity to pollution ; integrity to injustice; virtue to villany ; resolution to rage ; regularity to riot. The struggle lies between wealth and want ; the dignity and degeneracy of reason; the force and the phrenzy of the soul; between well-grounded hope and widely extended despair.

2. By honor and dishonor ; by evil report, and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and not killed ; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

3. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed ; perplexed but not in despair ; persecuted but not forsaken ; cast down, but not destroyed.

4. In the suitableness or unsuitableness, the proportion or disproportion of the affection to the object which excites it, consists the propriety or impropriety of the action.

Note.-By observing these examples, it will be perceived, that this rule holds good without regard to the nature of the relation between the clauses.-By the last, it appears, that when words which are derived from the same root stand in opposition to each other, on one of them at least the emphasis falls on the distinguishing syllable, without regard to the place of the ordinary accent.

RULE II.-When any sentence has corresponding members, expressing any other single relation than the antithesis of negation and affirmation, the first member generally takes the Rising and the latter the Falling Slide.


1. Homer was the greater genius ; Virgil, the better artist: in the one, we more admire the man; in the other, the work. Homer hurries us with a commanding impetuosity ; Virgil leads us with an attractive majesty. Homer scatters with a generous profusion ; Virgil bestows with a careful magnificence. Homer, like the Nile pours out his riches with a sudden overflow ; Virgil, like a river in its banks, with a constant stream.

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