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of nature and of art, how they mutually assist and complete each other, in forming such scenes and prospects as are most apt to delight the mind of the beholder ; I shall in this paper throw together some reflections on that particular art, which has a more immediate tendency than any other, to produce those primary pleasures of the imagination, which have hith, erto been the subject of this discourse. Spect. No. 415.
The sense is suspended in this sentence, till the word beholder, and here is to be placed the long pause and rising inflection ; in this place also, it is evident, the word now might be inserted in perfect conformity to the sense.
Exception. When the last word of the first part of these sen. tences requires the strong emphasis, the falling infection must be used instead of the rising.
Hannibal being frequently destitute of money and provise ions, with no recruits of strength in case of ill fortune, and no encouragement even when successful ; it is not to be wondered at that his affairs began at length to decline.
Goldsmith's Rom. Hist. Vol. i. p. 278.
In this sentence, the phrase even when successful, demands the strong emphasis, and must therefore be pronounced with the falling inflection : it may be observed likewise, that these sentences are of the nature of those constructed on conjunctions; as the last member of this would easily admit of then at the beginning, to show a kind of condition in the former, which corresponds with and modifies the latter.
· Inverted Period. Rule I. Every period, where the first part forms perfect sense by itself, but is modified or determined
in its signification by the latter, has the rising inflection and long pause between these parts as in the direct period. See p. 46.
Gratian very often recommends the fine taste, as the utmost perfection of an accomplished man.
In this sentence, the first member ending at taste forms perfect sense, but is qualified by the last : for Gratian is not said simply to recommend the fine taste, but to recommend it in a certain way ; that is, as the utmost perfection of an accomplished man. The same may be observed of the following sentence.
Persons of good taste expect to be pleased, at the same time they are informed.
Here perfect sense is formed at pleased; but it is not meant that persons of good taste are pleased in general, but with reference to the time they are informed : the words taste and pleased, therefore, in these sentences, we must pronounce with the rising inflection, and accompany this inflection with a pause. For the same reasons, the same pause and inflection must precede the word though in the following examples :
I can desire to perceive those things that God has prepared for those that love him, though they be such as eye hath not seen, ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive.
The sound of love makes your soft heart afraid,
Waller. Loose Sentence,
A LOOSE sentence has been shown to consist of a period, either direct or inverted, and an additional member which does not modify it; or, in other words, a loose sentence is a member containing perfect sense by itself, followed by some other member or members, which do not restrain or qualify its sig. nification. According to this definition, a loose sentence must have that member which forms perfect sense detached from those that follow, by a long pause and the falling inflection. See p. 47.
As, in speaking, the ear seizes every occasion of varying the tone of voice which the sense will permit; so, in reading, we ought as much as possible to imitate the variety of speaking, by taking every opportunity of altering the voice in correspondence with the sense : the most general fault of printing, is to mark those members of loose sentences, which form perfect sense, with a comma, instead of a semicolon, or colon ; and a similar, as well as the most common fault of readers, is to suspend the voice at the end of these members, and so to run the sense of one member into another : by this means, the sense is obscured, and a monotony is produced, instead of that distinctness and variety which arises from pronouncing these members with such an inflection of voice as marks a certain portion of perfect sense, not immediately connected with what follows ; for as a member of this kind does not depend for its sense on the following member, it ought to be pronounced in such a manner, as to show its independence on the succeeding member, and its dependence on the period, as forming but a part of it.
In order to convey precisely the import of these members, it is necessary to pronounce them with
the falling inflection, without suffering the voice to fall gradually as at a period; by which means the pause becomes different from the mere comma, which suspends the voice, and marks immediate dependence on what follows; and from the period, which marks not only an independence on what follows, butanexclusion of whatever may follow, and therefore drops the voice as at a conclusion. As this inflection is produced by a certain portion of perfect sense, which, in some degree, separates the member it falls on, from those that follow, it may not improperly be called the disjunctive inflection. An example will assist us in comprehending this important inflection in reading :
All superiority and pre-eminence that one man can have over another, may be reduced to the notion of quality ; which, considered at large, is either that of fortune, body, or mind : the first is that which consists in birth, title, or riches , and is the most foreign to our natures, and what we can the least call our own, of any of the three kinds of quality.
Spect. No. 219.
In the first part of this sentence, the falling inflection takes place on the word quality; for this member, we find, contains perfect sense, and the succeeding members are not necessarily connected with it : the same inflection takes place in the next member on the word riches; which, with respect to the sense of the member it terminates, and its connection with the following members, is exactly under the same predicament as the former, though the one is marked with a comma, and the other with a semicolon, which is the common punctuation in all the editions of the Spectator : a very little reflection, however, will shew us the necessity of adopting the same pause and inflection on both the above-mentioned words, as this inflection not only marks more precisely the completeness of sense in the members they terminate, but gives a variety to the period, by making the first, and the succeeding members, end in a different tone of voice; if we were to read all the members as if marked with commas, that is, as if the sense of the members were absolutely dependent on each other, the necessity of attending to this inflection of voice in loose sentences would more evidently appear. This division of a sentence is sometimes, and ought almost always to be marked with a semicolon, as in the following sentence at the word possess :
Foolish men are more apt to consider what they have lost, than what they possess; and to fix their eyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than on those who are under greater difficulties.
Spectator, No. 574.
But though we sometimes find these independent members of sentences pointed properly by the semicolon, we much oftener see them marked only by a comma ; and thus are they necessarily confounded, with those members which are dependent on the suc-, ceeding member, where a comma is the proper punctuation. An and, a which, a where, or any of the connective words, commencing the succeeding member, is a suificient reason with most printers for pointing the preceding member with a comma, even where, these connective words do not qualify the preceding member, and consequently do not join members together as they are parts of each other, but as they are parts of the period ; which is the case in the exampies already produced.
The following examples afford a proof of the necessity of adopting the falling inflection, in order to separate the first member which contains perfect sense, from those which follow, let the punctuation be what it will.