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Rule II. As the first general rule was, that the parenthesis ought to terminate with the same pause and inflection of voice as the member that preceded it ; the next general rule is, that the parenthesis, like the member immediately preceding it, almost always terminates with the pause of the comma and the ris. ing inflection : this has been abundantly exemplified in the foregoing instances; and it will now be necessary to take notice of an exception to this rule, which is, when the parenthesis terminates with an emphatical word which requires the falling infection ; for in this case, emphasis requires, that the parenthesis should terminate with the falling instead of the rising inflection.
Had I, when speaking in the assembly, been absolute and independent master of affairs, then your other speakers might call me to account. But if ye were ever present, if ye were all in general invited to propose your sentiments, if ye were all agreed that the measures then suggested were really the best ; if you, Æschines, in particular, were thus persuaded, and it was no partial affection for me, that prompted you to give me up the hopes, the applause, the honours, which attended that course I then advísed, but the superiour force of truth, and your utter inability to point out any more eligible course ;) if this was the case, I say, is it not highly cruel and unjust to arraign those measures now, when you could not then propose any better?
Leland's Demost. on the Crowns
Here the parenthesis finishing with two parts in opposition to each other, and the first of them being negative, and the last positive, the sense necessarily requires that advised should terminate with the rising, and eligible course with the falling inflection ; but as the member which immediately precedes the parenthesis is emphatical, and takes the falling inflections likewise in this case the general rule is not broken.
Cicero, speaking of the duty of magistrates, Says
Care must be taken that it bé not (as was often done by our ancestors through the smallness of the treasury and continu. ance of the wars) necessary to raise taxes ; and in order to prevent this, provision should be made against it long beforehand: but if the necessity of this service should happen to any state (which I had rather suppose of another than our own; nor am I now discoursing of our ówn, but of every state in gèneral) methods must be used to convince all persons (if they would be secure) that they ought to submit to necessity. .
Cicero's Offices, book ii. c. 21.
In this passage are no less than three parentheses ; the first and last, according to the general rule, end with the rising infection : but the middle parenthetick member ending with two emphatick objects, the last of which requires the falling inflection, the general Tule must be dispensed with. Why the negative part of a sentence requires the rising, and the positive part the falling inflection, see Theory of Emphatick Inflection.
Before we conclude this article, it may not be improper to take notice of a very erroneous practice among printers, which is, substituting commas in. stead of the hooks which mark a parenthesis. Slight as this fault may appear at first sight, we shall find, upon reflection, that it is productive of great inconveniences ; for if the parenthesis ought to be read in a lower tone of voice, and these hooks which inclose it are a mark of this tone, how shall a reader be able to understand this at sight, if the marks of the parenthesis are taken away, and commas inserted in their stead? The difficulty of always deciding, what is a parenthesis, and what is not, may, perhaps, be some excuse for confounding it with other intervening members ; but the absolute necessity of reading a real parenthesis with its proper tone of voice, makes
it of some importance to distinguish between this and the incidental member which is often confounded with it. The best rule, therefore, to distinguish the member in question is, not merely to try if sense remains when it is left out of the sentence, but to see if the member so modifies the preceding member as to change it from a general to a particular meaning ; for if this be the case, the member, though incidental, is absolutely necessary to the sense of the whole sentence, and consequently cannot be a parenthesis. An example will assist us in understanding this distinction, which is nearly the same as that which has been taken notice of in the defini. tion of a sentence, p. 42.
My friend the divine, having been used with words of com. plaisance, (which he thinks could be properly applied to no man living, and I think could be only spoken of him, and that in his absence) was so offended with the excessive way of speaking civilities among us, that he made a discourse against it at the club.
The incidental member in this sentence, which, in every edition of the Spectator I have seen, is marked as a parenthesis, is certainly nothing more than an incidental member modifying that which precedes, and therefore ought to have no fall of the voice in pronouncing it as the parenthesis requires; for the words of complaisance are not merely these words in gen. eral, but such as he thought could be applied to no one living, &c. ; and consequently this modifying member ought not to be so detached from that which it modifies, as to be pronounced in a lower tone of voice, as this would in some measure injure the sense.
Thus have we gone through the several pauses and distinctions of punctuation, and to these pauses.
ELEMENTS OF ELOCUTION.
and distinctions have added such a slide or inflection of voice as is suited to express them with clearness, strength, and propriety. Our next attempt must be to show what pronunciation is required by accent, emphasis, variety, harmony, and passion : and this must be the subject of the second part of this work.
ELEMENTS OF ELOCUTION.
As Accent relates to the pronunciation of words taken singly, it can have little to do in an essay on the pronunciation of words in succession, as Elocution, perhaps, may not improperly be called; for as words justly pronounced are merely the materials for delivery, these must all be supposed to be in our own possession before we can possibly begin to arrange and display them to advantage. A person who pronounces every word singly with the greatest purity, may not be able to read well ; and another may convey the sense of an author with great force and beauty, who does not always either pronounce the words justly, or place the accent on the proper syllable. The only point, therefore, in which it will be necessary to take notice of accent in reading, is that where the emphasis requires a transposition of it : this happens when two words which have a sameness in part of their formation, are opposed to each other in sense. Thus, if I pronounce the words justice and injustice as single words, I naturally place the accent on the penultimate syllable of both ; but if I contrast them, and say, Neither justice nor injustice have any thing to do with the present question ; in this sentence I naturally place the accent on the first syllable of injustice, in order the more forcibly and clearly to distinguish it from justice. This transposition of the accent, which is so evidently dictated by the sense, extends itself to all words which have a same