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last series has its three members pronounced exactly like the commencing series, Rule III. ; and thus every series is pronounced, both according to its own particular analogy, and that of the three taken togeth
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life ; nor ángels, nor principalities, nor powers ; nor things présent, nor things to come ;
Nor height, nor depth ; nor any other créature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans, ch. viii. ver. 38, 39.
Upon the first view of this passage, we find it naturally falls into certain distinct portions of similar or opposite words. These portions seem to be five in number; the first containing two members, death, life; the second containing three members, angels, principalities, powers; the third two, things present, things to come ; the fourth two, height, depth ; the fifth one, any other creature : these members, if pronounced at random, and without relation to that order in which they are placed by the sacred writer, lose half their beauty and effect; but if each member is pronounced with an inflection of voice that corresponds to its situation in the sentence, the whole series becomes the most striking and beautiful climax imaginable.
In order, then, to pronounce this passage properly, it is presumed that there ought to be a gradation of force from the first portion to the last; and that this force may have the greater variety, each portion ought to be accompanied with a gradation of voice from low to high ; that each portion also should continue distinct, every portion but the last should be pronounced as a simple concluding series, with the falling inflection on the last member, enforcing, and not dropping the voice ; the last member, according to the general rule, must have the rising inflection ; and in
this manner of pronouncing it, the whole sentence has its greatest possible force, beauty, and variety.
From the examples which have been adduced, we have seen in how many instances the force, variety and harmony of a sentence have been improved by a prop. er use of the falling inflection. The series in particular is indebted to this inflection for its greatest force and beauty. But it is necessary to observe, that this inflection is not equally adapted to the pronunciation of every series : where force, precision, or distinction is necessary, this inflection very happily expresses the sense of the sentence, and forms an agreeable climax of sound to the ear ; but where the sense of the sentence does not require this force, precision, or distinction, (which is but seldom the case,) where the sentence commences with a conditional or suppositive conjunction, or where the language is plaintive and poetical, the falling inflection seems less suitable than the rising: this will be better perceived by a few examples.
Seeing then that the soul has many different faculties, or in other words, many different ways of acting ; that it can be intensely pleased or made happy by all these different faculties or ways of acting ; that it may be endowed with several atent faculties, which it is not at present in a condition to exért ; that we cannot believe the soul is endowed with any faculty which is of no úse to it ; that whenever any one of these faculties is transcendently pleased, the soul is in a state of happiness; and in the last place, considering that the happiness of another world is to be the happiness of the whole mán ; who can question but that there is an infinite variety in those pleasures we are speaking of ; and that this fulness of joy will be made up of all those pleasures which the nature of the soul is capable of receiving ?
Spect. No. 600.
As the fourth member of this sentence, from its very nature, requires the rising infection, and as the whole series is constructed on the suppositive con
junction seeing ; every particular member of it seems necessarily to require the rising inflection : for it may be observed as a pretty general rule, that where a conditional or a suppositive conjunction commences the series, if there is nothing particularly emphatical in it, the rising inflection on each particular of the series is preferable to the falling, especially if the language be plaintive and tender.
. When the gay and smiling aspect of things has begun to leave the passages to a man's heart thus thoughtlessly unguarded; when kind and caressing looks of every object without, that can flatter his senses, has conspired with the enemy with. in, to betray him and put him off his defence ; when musick likewise hath lent her aid, and tried her power upon the pása sions ; when the voice of singing min, and the voice of singing women, with the sound of the viol and the iute, have broke in upon his soul, and in some tender notes have touched the secret springs of rapture that moment let us diss'ct and look into his heart ;-see how vain, how wéak, how émpty a thing it is !
Sterne's Sermon in the House of Mourning, &c.
In this example, the plaintive tone which the whole sentence requires, gives it an air of poetry, and makes the falling inflection too harsh to terminate the several particulars ; for it may be observed in pausing, that a series of particulars are as seldom to be pronounced with the falling inflection in poetry, as they are for the most part to be so pronounced in prose. The reason of this, perhaps, may be, that, as pot try assumes so often the ornamental and the plaintive, where a distinct and emphatick enumeration is not so much the object as a noble or a tender one; that expression which gives the idea of force and familiarity is not so suitable to poetry as to prose: as a confirmation of this we may observe, that when poetry becomes either forceful or familiar, the falling inflection is then properly adopted in the pronunciation of the series.
Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains,
Rape of ibe Lock, Canto ii. ver. 23. Here the emphasis on each particular requires the first and second to be pronounced with the falling inflection, as in Rule VI. of the Compound Se
But rhyming poetry so seldom admits of this inflection in the series, that the general rule is for a contrary pronunciation.
So when the faithful pencil has design'd
Pope's Essay on Crit. ver. 484. In this example we find every particular, except the last but one (where the sentence begins to grow emphatical,) adopt the rising inflection, as more agreeable to the pathetick tenor of the passage than the falling ; and it may be observed, that there are few passages of this sort in rhyming poetry, of the pa- . thetick or ornamental kind, which do not necessarily require the same inflection.
Thus no objection to the utility ofthese long laboured rules has been dissembled. In subjects of this nature
something must always be left to the taste and judgment of the reader; but the author flatters himself, if any thing like a general ruie is discovered in a point supposed to be without all rule, that something at least is added to the common stock of knowledge, which may in practise be attended with advantage.
What the bishop of London says of improvements in grammar, may, with the greatest propriety, be applied to this part of elocution. “A system of this “ kind,” says this learned and ingenious writer, "aris“ing from the collection and arrangement of a multi“ tude of minute particulars, which often elude the “ most careful search, and sometimes escape obser“ vation when they are most obvious, must always “ stand in need of improvement: it is, indeed, the “ necessary condition of every work of human art or “ science, small as well as great, to advance towards “ perfection by slow degrees : by an approximation, “ which, though it may still carry it forward, yet “ will certainly never bring it to the point to which it “ tends."
Dr. Lowth's Preface to his Grammar.
The Final Pause or Period.
When a sentence is so far perfectly finished, as not to be connected in construction with the following sentence, it is marked with a period. This point is in general so well understood, that few grammari. ans have thought it necessary to give an express example of it; though there are none who have inquired into punctuation who do not know, that in loose sentences the period is frequently confounded with the colon. But though the tone, with which we conclude a sentence, is general y well understood, we cannot be too careful in pronunciation to distin