« PředchozíPokračovat »
EXAMPLE. “ If we have nd regard for our own character, we ought to have some regard for the character of others”. "own" rising, and “others” falling, according to Principle Third. “But,” say the advocates for the supposed exception, “the first division requires the falling inflection because it implies concession"-a concession, however, which they must admit is so analogous to supposition, as scarcely to justify a departure from the general rule. Even proceeding upon the principle of concession, why not give it the inflection of the concessive member as expressed in Principle Second ? -the rule of the concession, in all systems of elocution, being that of the rising modulation.
But again—The second member of the example, " We ought to have some regard for the character of others," should, it is said, have the rising modulation, because “it points an appeal to the conscience." But, independently of that, is not the clause obviously suggested by the former, arising out of it, like every other second member of the suspension ? “ If we have nd regard for our own character, we ought to have some regard for the character of òthers.”—“If we have nó regard for religion in youth, we should hāve some regārd for īt in age." Let the student exercise his own judgment, however, and form his taste accordingly. The exception appears objectionable, first, because it seems unnecessary, and, secondly, because its adoption would rather encumber than simplify the art to the student. It is in this as in every other abstract study-the fewer and more self-evident the principles, the simpler and easier the art becomes. When the reader is distracted by a multiplicity of rules that modify and yet include each other, he is not only perplexed in the practice of the art, but becomes also disagreeably stiff and artificial in the management of his modulations. The art, in reality, suffers by its alleged intricacies, and he by his slavish attention to them.
It may be observed, in connection with Principles Second and Third, that when the negative, concessive, or suspended sense, is not confined to one member, but extends over several, çare must be taken to preserve the low monotone throughout the entire series, reserving the strong rising inflection for the concluding member of the negative, concessive, or suspended division. Thus in the Negative—“Nó mān is fitted to excel in conversātion who is exceedingly resérved; who is háughty and prdud of his knowledge; who is pósitive and dogmàtical in his opínions; who affécts to outshine all the company; who is frètful and peévish ; who affècts wit, and is full of púns, and quirks, and qúibbles ; but he önly who is patient to hear, and whose mind is open to convìction.” Thus also in the following passage, in which the concessive and negative sense are combined, though destitute of the concessive sign :“Sweet is the breath of mórn, her rísing swēet,
With chárm of earliest bírds; pleasant the sun,
Or glittering stár-light-withdut thée is sweet." So also in the Suspension_“Suppósing the whole body of the earth were a great ball or máss of the finest sánd, and that a síngle grain or particle of this sānd should be anníhilated ēvery thousand years; suppósing thāt you had it in your power to be háppy āll the while this prodígious māss of sānd was consùming by thīs slow méthod, until thēre wās not a gràin of it léft, on condition you were to be miserable for ever after; or, that you were to be happy for ēver āfter, on condìtion yoū woūld be miserable until the whole måss of sānd werē thus annihilated, at the rāte of one sand in a thoùsand years; whích of thēse two cases would you māke your choice?” In all such sentences, though there is a continual recurrence to the rising inflection on each negative, concessive, or suspended clause, the reader must observe a continual return also to the low monotone, or, which is the same thing in effect, to a low grade of harmonic inflection, in order to maintain the consistency of the respective rules.
The following Extracts exemplify Principle Third. The principal inflections only are marked :
REFLECTIONS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY. When I am in a serious húmour, I very often walk by myself in Westminster A'bbey, where the gloominess of the pláce, and the ùse to which it is applied, with the solemnity of the building, and the condition of the people who líe in it, are apt to fill the mind with a kind of mélancholy, or rather thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable. I yesterday passed a whóle afternoòn in the churchyárd, the cloisters, and the church; ainúsing myself with the tombstones and inscriptions which I met with in those several regions of the dead. Most of them recorded nothing else of the bùried person, but that he was born upon one day and died upon andther; the whole history of his life being comprehended in these twò círcumstances, that are common to all mankind. I could not but look upon those registers of existence, whether of bràss or márble, as a kind of sàtire upon the departed persons, who had left no other memórial of themsēlves, than that they were bórn, and that they died.
Upon my going into the church, I entertained myself with the digging of a gràve; and saw in every shovelful of it that was thrown úp, the fragment of a bone or skúll, intermixed with a kind of fresh mduldering earth, that, some time or other, had a place in the composition of a húman bòdy. Upon this, I began to consider with myself, what innumerable multitudes of people lay confused togéther, under the pavement of that ancient cathédral, how men and women, friends and enemies, prièsts and soldiers, monks and prebendaries, were crumbled amongst one another, and blended together in the same common mass; how beauty, strength, and youth, with old age, weakness, and deformity, lay undistinguished in the same promiscuous heap of matter.
After having thus surveyed this great magazine of mortality as it were in the lúmp, I examined it more particularly by the accounts which I found on several of the monuments which are raised in every quarter of that ancient fàbric. Some of them were covered with such extràvagant épitaphs, that, if it were possible for the dead person to be acquainted with thēm, he would blush at the praises which his friends have bestowed upon him. There are others so excèssively módest, that they deliver the character of the person departed in Greek or Hèbrew; and by thát means are not understood once in a twelvemonth. In the poétical quarter, I found there were poets who had no monuments, and monuments which had no poets. I observed, indeed, that the present war had filled the church with many of those uninhabited mónuments, which had been erected to the memory
of persons whose bodies were perhaps buried in the plàins of Blenheim, or in the bósom of the ocean.
I could not but be very much delighted with several modern épitaphs, which are written with great elegance of expréssion and jùstness of thought, and which therefore do honour to the living as well as to the dead. As a foreigner is very apt to conceive an idea of the ignorance or políteness of a nation from the turn of their public monuments and inscriptions, they should be submitted to the perusal of men of learning and génius, before they are put into execution. Sir Cloudsley Shovel's monument has very often given me great offènce. Instead of the brave rough E'nglish ádmiral, which was the distinguishing character of that plain gàllant mán, he is represented on his tomb by the figure of a beau dressed in a long périwig, and reposing himself upon velvet cushions under a cánopy of stàte. The inscription is answerable to the monument; for, instead of celebrating the many remark.
able actions he had performed in the service of his coúntry, it acquaints.us only with the mánner of his death, in which it was impossible for him to reap any honour. The Dutch, whom we are apt to despise for want of génius, show an infinitely greater taste in their buildings and works of this nature, than we meet with in those of our own country. The monuments of their admirals, which have been erected at the public expense, represent them like themselves, and are adorned with ròstral crówns, and nával órnaments, with beautiful festoons of séa-weed, shells, and còral,
I know that entertainments of this nature are apt to raise dark and dismal thoughts in tìmorous minds and glodmy imaginations; but for my own part, though I am always sérious, I do not know what it is to be melancholy; and can therefore take a view of nature in her deèp and solemn scēnes, with the same pleasure as in her most gáy and delightful ones. By these means, I can impròve myself with objects which others consider with tèrror. When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every in. ordinate desire goes oùt; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tómbstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly fdllow. When I see kings lying by those who depósed them; when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men who divided the world with their contests and disputes; I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, fáctions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dátes of the tombs, of some that died yésterday, and some six hundred yéars ago; I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.-Spectator.
ON TRUTH AND INTEGRITY. Truth and integrity have all the advantages of appearance, and many more. If the show of any thing be good for any thing, I am sure the reality is better; for why does any man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have the qualities he pretends to? Por to counterfeit and dissemble is to put on the appearance of some real excellency. Now,