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adopt the falling inflection on the last member but one. This rule is founded on the natural perception of harmony in the ear, which has as much dislike to a too great similitude of consecutive sounds, as the understanding has to a want of sufficient distinction between members differently connected. When this distinction, therefore, is sufficiently obvious, and no improper connection is formed by using the right inflection, the ear always requires this inflection on the penultimate member; for, as the last member must almost always be terminated by the falling inflection at the period, a falling inflection, immediately preceding it in the penultimate member, would be too sudden a repetition of nearly similar sounds : hence arises the propriety of the following rules,
Rule I. Every member of a sentence, immediately preceding the last, requires the rising inflection.
Aristotle tells us, that the world is a copy or transcript of those ideas which are in the mind of the first Béing ; and that those ideas which are in the mind of man are a transcript of the world : to this we may add, that words are the transcript of those ideas which are in the mind of mán, and that writing or printing is the transcript of words... Spect. No. 166.
In this example, if there were no connection between the two last members from the antithesis they contain, the rising inflection would be necessary at the end of the penultimate member, for the sake of sound.
In short, a modern Pindarick writer, compared with Pi dar, is like a sister among the Camisars, compared with Virgil's Sybil; there is the distortion, grimace, and outward figure, but nothing of that divine impuise which raises the mind above itsélf, and makes the sounds more than human.
Spect. No. 160. The florist, the planter, the gardener, the husbandman, when they are accomplishments to the man of fortune, are great re
liefs to a country life, and many ways useful to those who are possessed of them.
Ibid. No. 93.
In the first of these examples the 'sentence might have finished at itself, and in the last at life ; for the succeeding members do not modify them, but, as they are penultimate members, they necessarily require the rising inflection.
He has annexed a secret pleasure to the idea of any thing that is new or uncommon, that he might encourage us in the pursuit after knowledge, and engage us to search into the wonders of his creation ; for every new idea brings such a p easure along with it as rewards any pains we have taken in the acquisition, and consequently serves as a motive to put us upon fresh discoveries.
Ibid. No 413.
In this example, we see that it is not the perfect sense of a member which alone qualifies it for the falling inflection ; it must be followed by one member, at least, which does not admit this pause ; otherwise it is transferred from the first to the succeeding member, which is the case in this example. The first compound member forms perfect sense at the word knowledge, and the succeeding member is not necessarily connected with it : but as this member forms perfect sense likewise, and is followed by one, which cannot be united with it by the comma or rising inflection ; therefore, to avoid the ill effect of two successive pauses exactly the same, the falling infiection must be placed on the word creation.
Rule II. As a farther illustration of this, we may observe, that when the first member forms perfect sense, and is followed by two members necessarily connected, the falling inflection must be placed on the first.
It shall ever be my study to make discoveries of this nature in human life, and to settle the proper distinctions between ile virine, and perféciions of mankind, and those false colours and resembiances of them that shine alike in the eyes of the vu gar.
In this example, we may observe that the falling inflection might have been placed on the second mmber, if the second and third members had not been necessarily connected by an antithesis; which shows that the falling inflection requires the member it is placed on, not only to have perfect sense independent on the succeeding member, but at the same time requires the succeeding member to be dependent on a third.
Exceptions. Emphasis, which controls every other rule in reading, forms an exception to this; which is, that where an emphatick word is in the first member of a sentence, and the last has no emphatical word, this penuitimate member then terminates with the falling inflection.
I must therefore desire the reader to remember, that by the pleasures of the imagination, I meant only such pleasures as arise originally from sight; and that I divide these p.easures into two kinds.
Spect. No. 411.
In this sentence the word sight is emphatical, and therefore, though in the penultimate number, must not have the rising, but the falling inflection, as this is the inflection best suited to the sense of the emphatick phrase. See article Emphasis.
The person he chanced to see was, to appearance, an old sordid blind man; but upon his following him from place to place, he at last found, by his own confession, that he was Plutus, the God of Riches; and that he was just come out of the house of a miser.
Spectator, No. 464.
In this sentence the words God of Riches, as opposed to the words old sordid blind man, are emphatical, and, therefore, though in the penultimate member, require the falling inflection. The same may be observed of the word most in the following sentence :
If they do not acquiesce in his judgment, which, I think, never happened above once or twice at most, they appeal to
In this sentence we find the connection interrupted, and the cadence injured, by giving the falling inflection to the word most; but if we were to give this word the rising inflection for the sake of preserving the cadence and connection, we should lose so much force as would render this pronunciation less eligible upon the whole. The author, therefore, is answerable for this incompatibility of the strongest sense with the best sound, and the reader is reduced to choose the lesser evil.
The same variance between emphasis and connec. tion may be observed in the following sentence :
Religious hope does not only bear up the mind under her sufferings, but makes her rejoice in them, as they may be the means of procuring her the great and ultimate end of all her hope.
Spectator, No. 471.
Here we see the word rejoice, in opposition to bear up the mind, require, from its being emphatical, the falling inflection; and yet, from its being modified by what follows, it ought to have the rising.
As a corollary to the former rules, it follows, that if a loose sentence, having one member forming perfect sense, and not modified by what follows, is succeeded by another member, which forms perfect sense likewise, unmodified by succeeding members; that as often as members of this kind occur, without finishing the sentence, they ought to be marked with semicolons, or colons, and pronounced, like a series, with the falling inflection.
This persuasion of the truth of the gospel, without the evidence which accompanies it, would not have been so firm and so dùrable; it would not have acquired new force with age: It would not have resisted the torrent of time, and have pass. ed from age to age to our own days.
In this example a perfect sentence might be form. ed at durable ; and as it is not modified by what follows, it ought to have the falling inflection : A perfect sentence might also be formed at age ; which, being under the same predicament as the former member, requires the falling inflection likewise: a sentence in the same manner might be formed at time ; but as this is the penultimate member, it must necessarily adopt the rising inflection, according to the rule laid down in the preceding article.
It may be necessary to observe, that when these members of sentences marked with a semicolon, or colon, follow each other in a series, though they must all have the falling inflection, this inflection must be pronounced in a higher tone of voice on the second than on the first, and on the third than on the second; to prevent the monotony which would otherwise necessarily be the consequence: A series of colons, therefore, must be considered as a compound series, and pronounced according to the rules laid down for the pronunciation of that species of sentence which will be the subject of the next article.
Natural reason inclines men to mutual converse and society ::. It implants in them a strong affection for those who spring from them : It excites them to form communities, and join in, publick assemblies : And, for these ends, to endeavour to pro. cure both the necessaries and conveniencies of life. "Cicero.
In this sentence the falling inflection in the common level of the voice is placed on the word society ;