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If it be pronounced thus : “Do you ride to town to-day ? the answer may naturally be, “ No, we send a servant in our stead."

If thus : “Do you ride to town to-day ?" answer, “ No, we intend to walk."

“Do you ride to town to-day?" "No, we ride into the



“Do you ride to town to-day?“No, but we shall tomorrow."

In like manner, in solemn discourse, the whole force and beauty of an expression often depend on the emphatic word; and we may present to the hearers quite different views of the sentiment, by placing the emphasis differently. In the following words of our Saviour, observe in what different lights the thought is placed, according as the words are pronounced.

" Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss ?"? Betrayest thou,” makes the reproach turn on the infamy of treachery. “ Betrayest thou,makes it rest upon Judas's connexion with his master. “ Betrayest thou the Son of man," reşts it upon our Saviour's personal character and eminence. “ Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss ?” turns it upon his prostituting the signal of peace and friendship, to the purpose of destruction.

The emphasis often lies on the word that asks a question : as,

6 Who said so ?" 6 When will he come ?" 66 What shall I do?!! Whither shall I go?" Why dost thou weep?” And when two words are set in contrast, or in opposition to one another, they are both emphatic: as, “ He is the tyrant, not the father, of his people ;'* “ His subjects fear him, but they

" do not love him."

Some sentences are so full and comprehensive, that almost every word is emphatical : as, “ Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains :” or, as that emphatic expostulation in the prophecy of Ezekiel, “Why will ye die !" In the latter short sentence, every word is emphatical; and on which ever word we lay the emphasis, whether on the first, second, third, or fourth, it strikes out a different sense, and opens a new subject of moving expostulation.

Emphasis often falls not only on single words, in different parts of the same sentence, but it is frequently required to be continued, with a little variation, on two, and sometimes more words together. The following sentences exemplify both the parts of this position : “ If you seek to make one rich, study not to increase his stores, but to diminish his desires." “ The Mexican figures, or picture writing, represent things, not words : they exhibit images to the eye, not ideas to the understanding."

As accent dignifies the syllable on which it is laid, and makes it more distinguished by the ear than the rest; so emphasis ennobles the word to which it belongs, and presents it in a stronger light to the understanding. Were there no accents, words would be resolved into their original syllables : were there no emphasis, sentences would be resolved into their original words; and, in this case, the hearer would be under the painful necessity, first, of making out the words, and afterward, their meaning.

Emphasis has been variously divided by different writers. We shall present the student with a view of some of these arrangements; from which he will probably derive clearer and more comprehensive ideas of the subject.

Emphasis is said, by some of them, to consist of two kinds, the simple, and the complex emphasis. Simple, when it serves to point out only the plain meaning of any proposition : complex, when, besides the meaning, it marks also some affection or emotion of the mind; or gives a meaning to words, which they would not have in their usual acceptation. In the former case, emphasis is scarcely more than a stronger accent, with little or no change of tone; when it is complex, besides force, there is always superadded a manifest change of tone.

The following sentence contains an example of simple emphasis :

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. emphasis on thou, serves only to point out the meaning of the speaker. But in the sentence which follows, we perceive an emotion of the speaker superadded to the simple meaning: “Why will ye die?"

Emphasis has been further distinguished into the weaker and stronger emphasis. In the sentence, " Exercise and temperance strengthen the constitution;" we perceive more force on the word strengthen, than on any other; though it is not equal to the stress which we apply to the word indifferent, in the following sentence: “Exercise and temperance strengthen even an indifferent constitution.” It is also proper to remark, that the words exercise, temperance, constitution, in the last example but one, are pronounced with greater force, than the particles and and the; and yet those words cannot properly be called emphatical : for the stress that is laid on them is no more than sufficient to convey distinctly the meaning of each word. From these observations it appears, that the smaller parts of speech, namely, the articles, conjunctions, prepositions, &c. are, in general, obscurely and feebly expressed ; that the substantives, verbs, and more significant words, are firmly and distinctly pronounced; and that the emphatical words, those which mark the meaning of a phrase,

" The

are pronounced with peculiar stress and energy, though varied according to the degree of their importance.

Emphasis has also been 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 enforces, graces, and enlidens, but does not fir, 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 exemplify the superior emphasis.

“ Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our wo, &c.

Sing heav'nly Muse !” Supposing that originally other beings besides men, had disobeyed the commands of the Almighty, and that the circumstance were well known to us, there would fall an emphasis upon the word man's in the first line ; and hence it would be read thus:

“Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit,” &c. But if it were a notorious truth, that mankind had transgressed in a peculiar manner more than once, the emphasis would fall on first; and the line be read;

“Of man's first disobedience," Again, admitting death (as was really the case) to have been an unheard-of and dreadful punishment, brought upon man in consequence of his transgression; 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 following examples illustrate the nature and use of the inferior emphasis :

“ Many persons mistake the love, for the practice of virtue.”

“Shall I reward his services with falsehood ? Shall I forget him who cannot forget me?"

“ If his principles are false, no apology from himself can make them right : if founded in truth, no censure from others can make them wrong."

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“Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull ;

Strong without rage ; without o'erflowing, full."A friend exaggerates 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 entirely by the sense of the passage, and always made alıke: but as to the inferior emphasis, tuste alone seems to have the right of fixing its situation and quantity.

Among the number of persons, who have had proper opportunities of learning to read, in the best manner it is now taught, very few could be selected, who, in a given instance, would use the inferior emphasis alike, either as to place or quantity. Some persons, indeed, use scarcely any degree of it: and others do not scruple to carry it far beyond any thing to be found in common discourse ; and even sometimes throw it upon words so very trifling in themselves, that it is evidently done with no other view, than to give a greater variety to the modulation.* Notwithstanding this diversity of practice, there are certainly proper boundaries, within which this emphasis must be restrained, in order to make it meet the approbation of sound judgment and correct taste. 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 application is not arbitrary, depending on the caprice of readers.

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 ranged in sentences; the long being changed into short, the short into long, according to the importance of the words with regard to meaning: and as it is by emphasis only, that the meaning can be pointed out, emphasis must be the regulator of the quantity. . A few examples will make this point very evident.

Pleas'd thoŭ shălt hear--and learn the secret power, &c.
Pleas'd thou shalt hear—and thou alone shalt hear
Pleas'd thou shālt hear--in spite of them shălt hear--
Pleas'd thou shålt heár-though not behold the fair-

In the first of these instances, the words pleas'd and hèar, being equally emphatical, are both long; whilst the two in- , termediate words, thờu and shălt, being rapidly passed over, as the sense demands, are reduced to a short quantity:

* By modulation is meant that pleasing variety of voice, which is perceived in uttering a sentence, and which, in its nature, is perfectly distinct from emphasis, and the tones of emotion and passion. The young reader should be very careful to render his modulation correct and easy ; and, for this purpose, should form it upon the model of the most judicious and accurate speakers.

In the second instance, the word thoù by being the most important, obtains the chief, or rather the sole emphasis; and thus, it is not only restored to its natural long quantity, but obtains from emphasis a still greater degree of length, than when pronounced in its separate state. The greater degree of length, is compensated by the diminution of quantity in the word pleas'd and hear, which are sounded shorter than in the preceding instance. The word shălt still continues short. Here we may also observe, that though thou is long in the first part of the verse, it becomes short when repeated in the second, on account of the more forcible emphasis belonging to the word alòne which follows it.

In the third instance, the word shalt, having the emphasis, obtains a long quantity. And though it is impossible to prolong the sound of this word, as it ends in a pure mute, yet in this, as in all similar instances, the additional quantity is to be made out by a rest of the voice, proportioned to the importance of the word. In this instance, we may also observe, that the word shalt, repeated in the second part of the line, is reduced again to a short quantity.

In the fourth instance, the word héar, placed in opposition to the word behold, in the latter part of the line, obtains from the sense the chief emphasis, and a proportionate length. The words thou and shali, are again reduced to short quantities; and the word pleas'd lends some of the time which it possessed, to the more important word hear.

From these instances, it is evident, that the quantity of our syllables is not fixed; but governed by emphasis.- To observe a due measurement of time, on all occasions, is doubtless very difficult: but by instruction, attention, and practice, the difficulty may be overcome.

Emphasis changes, not only the quantity of words and sylJables, but also in particular cases, the seat of the accent. This is demonstrable from the following examples: " He shall increase, but I shall décrease." “ There is a difference between giving and forgiving.” “ In this species of composition plaúsibility 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, the great rule, and indeed the only rule, possible to be given, is, that the speaker or reader study to attain a just conception of the force and spirit of the sentiments which he is to pronounce. For to lay the emphasis with exact propriety, is a constant exercise of good sense and attention. It


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