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is my own, and I wrote it myself; but the latter sen. tences may be said to be emphatical, and the former not. To the same end our language has adopted an auxiliary verb, to express action or passion with emphasis, in a shorter way than perhaps in any other tongue. Thus, when Othello says to Desdemona
Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee
it is equivalent to saying, I actually and really love thee, in contradistinction to the appearance of love, which so often supplies the place of the reality : and this seems to lead us to the latent antithesis of the general emphasis, which is, the appearance, as distinguished from the reality or the similitude, from the identity; and therefore, though the words if, Rome, and fall, taken separately, have no direct antithetick ideas, yet, when united together by succes. sive emphases, they imply a reality and identity of situation in opposition to every possible contrary situation, which contrary situation becomes the real antithetick object of the emphatick words, and thus brings the general emphasis under the same definition as particular emphasis, and shows that both are but other words for opposition, contradistinction, or contrast. • From this view of emphasis, we may perceive the propriety of laying a stress upon some of the most insignificant words when the language is impassioned, in order to create a general force, which sufficiently justifies the seeming impropriety. Thus, in the following sentence-The very man whom he had loaded with favours was the first to accuse himma stress upon the word man will give considerable force to the sentence the very man, &c. If to the stress on this word we give one to the word very, the force will be considerably increased the very
word mane firse man'
man, &c. But if to these words we unite a stress on the word the, the emphasis will then attain its utmost pitch, and be emphatick, as it may be called, in the superlative degree--the very man, &c. And this general emphasis, it may be observed, has identity for its object, the antithesis to which is appearance, similitude, or the least possible diversity.
Intermediate or Elliptical Member.
It now remains to say something of an emphatick circumstance, which, though not mentioned by any of our writers on the subject, seems of the utmost importance to an accurate idea of pronunciation.
It has been already observed, that emphatick force is relative: It may be likewise observed, that it is not relative only with respect to the inferiour force which is given to the unemphatick words; it is re. lative, also, with respect to the inflection on those words that are not emphatical ; that is, emphasis derives as much force from pronouncing those words which are not emphatical with a peculiar inflection, as it does from pronouncing the emphatick words themselves with a suitable inflection and greater force. Let us endeavour to illustrate this by an example :
Must we, in your person, crown the author of the publick calamities, or must we destroy him?
Æschines against Demosthenes.
Here, I say, in order to preserve to the two emphatical words, crown and destroy, that force which the contrast demands, we must necessarily pronounce the intermediate member, the author of the publick calamities, with the rising inflection, like crown, but in a feebler, though higher tone of voice : This mode of pronunciation places the opposite parts in full view, which would be necessarily obscured, if the words author
of the publick calamities had the same portion of force and variety as the rest ; so that this member, which may not improperly be called the elliptical member, has exactly that inflection and that feebleness which it would have, if it had been repeated, at the end of the sentence, in this manner :
Must we, in your person, crown the author of the publick ca. lamities? or must we destroy the author of the publick calami. ties?
This will be farther illustrated by another example :
It is not he who hath strengthened our fortifications, who hath digged our intrenchments, who hath disturbed the tombs of our ancestors, that should demand the honours of a patriot minister, but he who hath procured some intrinsick services - to, the state.
Here the intermediate member, that should demand the honours of a patriot minister, which agrees both with the positive and negative part of the sentence, must be pronounced in subordination to the word ancestors; that is, as this word has the emphasis with the rising inflection, according to the general rule, the intermediate member must have the rising inflection likewise, in a higher and feebler tone of voice, and without any peculiar force upon any of the words. .
Another example will render this rule still clearer :
A good man will love himself too well to lose an estate by gaming, and his neighbour too well to win one.
In this sentence, as in the two former, there are two principal constructive parts; and between these parts there is a member which relates to both, and must be pronounced in subordination to both, else the force of each will be lost. This member is, an estate by gaming ; the first principal constructive part of this
sentence ends with the emphatick word lose ; and as ! its connection with the latter.constructive part necessarily requires that it should be pronounced with the rising inflection, every word of the intermediate member which follows it must be pronounced with the rising inflection likewise : for if any emphasis or variety of inflection be given to this member, it will infallibly deprive the correspondent antithetick words, himself, lose, neighbour, and win, of all their force and harmony. Every word of this middle member, therefore, must be pronounced with the rising inflection, in a somewhat higher tone than the word lose, and nearly approaching a monotone. On the contrary, if we were to place this member at the end of the sentence, in this manner,
A good man will love himself too well to lose, and his neighbour too well to win, an estate by gamingIn this arrangement, in order to give force and vari. ety to the correspondent emphatick words, the same inflections must take place as before; that is, himself must have the falling, lose the rising, neighbour the rising, and win the falling inflection : and to preserve this order, which can alone give the sentence its due precision, the last member, an estate by gaming, must be pronounced with the same inflection as the word win, but in a lower tone of voice, and appoaching to a monotone ; for if any force or variety is given to these words, it must necessarily be at the expense of those that are alone entitled to it. The bad effect, indeed, of pronouncing so many words at the end of a sentence in so low and feeble a tone, is apt to invite the ear to a different pronunciation at first; but a moment's reflection on the sense will induce us rather to dispense with the want of sound than of meaning. The first of these forms of arranging the words is indisputably the best ; and writers would do well to make it a rule in composition, never to
finish a sentence with a member that relates to each part of a preceding antithesis ; a neglect of this rule occasions many uncouth sentences even in our best authors.
Mr. Addison, speaking of the power of the imagination, says,
It would be vain to inquire whether the power of imagining things strongly proceeds from any greater perfection in the . soul, or from any nicer texture in the brain of one man than of another.
Spectator, No. 417. In this sentence, in order to present each part of the antithesis, soul and brain, clearly and precisely to the mind, it will be necessary to confine the emphatick force to these words alone; and this can be done no other way than by laying the rising inflection. on ‘soul, and the falling on brain, and pronouncing the last member, of one man than of another, with the same inflection as brain, but in a lower and almost monotonous tone of voice; this will necessarily give an uncouthness to the sound of the sentence, but is absolutely necessary to give the sense of it strongly and clearly.
It is true, that by this mode of pronunciation the intermediate member is presented less clearly to the mind; but when we consider that the sense of it is nearly anticipated by the comparative greater and nicer, we shall, with less reluctance, give it up to the principal emphatick words, soul and brain.
It must not be dissembled, however, that if this intermediate member contains an emphatical word, or extends to any length, it will be necessary to consider it as an essential member of the sentence, and to pronounce it with emphasis and variety. Thus, if the sentence just quoted had been constructed in this manner :
A good man will love himself too well to lose, and his neighbour too well to win, a very considerable sum by gaming..