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There is little danger of mistaking the principle of antithesis when both terms are expressed. It is the principle of contrast or opposition. Wherever there is contradistinction in the sense, the same must be expressed in the tones of the voice; and it will be found that, in the modulations assigned to the various forms, the principle of contrast is maintained throughout; so that each term receives invariably a modulation opposite to that of the term with which it is contrasted.
Antithesis is sometimes, however, presented elliptically, the relative term being suppressed; and here the reader must proceed with caution, lest he overlook the emphatic word, and attach his modulation to some inferior term in the sentence. Thus—“Every màn, however líttle, makes a figure in his own eyes ;” “own” being the emphatic word as opposed to the judgment of others. “ We esteem móst things according to their intrinsic mèrit; it is strange man should be an excēption." “Guard your weak síde from bēing known—if it be attacked, the bèst way is to jòin in the attāck."
“ Hámlet, you have your fáther much offènded.”
“ Móther, you have my fāther much offended.” The Principle of Emphasis, as embodied in Antithesis, is exemplified in the following Extracts :
PARALLEL BETWEEN POPE AND DRYDEN.
In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to Drýden, whose education was more scholastic, and whó, before hè became an author, had been allowed more time for stúdy, with better means of information. Hís mind has a larger rànge, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circúinference of science. Drýden knew more of man in his gèneral náture, and Pope in his lócal manners. The notions of Drýden were formed by comprehensive speculation; those of Pope by ininúte attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Drýden, and more certainty in that of Pope.
Póetry was not the sole praise of either; for both excelled likewise in próse: but Pope did not borrow hís prose from his predecèssor. The style of Drýden is capricious and váried; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind; Pope constrains hís mind to his own rules of composì. tion. Drýden is sometimes vehement and rápid; Pope is always smooth, úniform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the vàried exuberance of abundant vegetation ; Pópe's is a velvet làwn, shàven by the scythe, and levelled by the roller.
Of génius—that power which constitutes a poet ; that quàlity without which judgment is cold, and knowledge is inert ; that ènergy which collécts, combines, ámplifies, and animates—the superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden. It is not to be infērred, that of this poētical vigour Pópe had only a little, because Dryden had more: for every other writer since Milton must give place to Põpe; and even of Dryden it must be said that if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems. Drýden's performances were always hàsty; either excited by some extèrnal occasion, or extorted by doméstic necessity; he compdsed without considerátion, and públished without correction. What his mind could supply at call, or gather at dne excursion, was all that he sought, and all that he gàve. The dilatory cáution of Pope enabled him to condense his sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate all that stùdy might prodúce, or chánce might supply. If the flights of Dryden, therefore, are hígher, Pópe continues longer on the wing. If of Drýden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's the heat is more regular and constant. Dryden often surpásses expectation, and Pópe never falls below it. Drýden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with perpétual delìght.-Johnson.
CHARACTER OF ADDISON AS A WRITER.
As a describer of life and manners, Mr Addison must be allowed to stand perhaps the first in the first rank.-His humour is peculiar to himself, and is so happily diffused, as to give the grace of novelty to domestic scenes and daily occurrences. He never o'ersteps the modesty of nature, nor raises merriment and wonder by the
violation of truth. His figures neither divert by distortion, nor amaze by aggravation. He copies life with so much fidelity, that he can hardly be said to invent; yet his exhibitions have an air so much original, that it is difficult to suppose them not merely the product of imagination.
As a teacher of wisdom, he may be confidently followed. His religion has nothing in it enthusiastic or superstitious; he appears neither weakly credulous, nor wantonly sceptical ; his morality is neither dangerously lax nor implacably rigid. All the enchantments of fancy, and all the cogency of argument, are employed to recommend to the reader his real interest,—the care of pleasing the Author of his being. Truth is shown sometimes as the phantom of a vision, sometimes appears half-veiled in an allegory, sometimes attracts regard in the robe of fancy, and sometimes steps forth in the confidence of reason. She wears a thousand dresses, and in all is pleasing.
His prose is the model of the middle style : on grave subjects not formal, on light occasions not grovelling ; pure without scrupulosity, and exact without apparent elaboration; always equable, and always easy, without glowing words or pointed sentences. His page is always luminous, but never blazes in unexpected splendour. It seems to have been his principal endeavour to avoid all harshness and severity of diction; he is therefore some times verbose in his transitions and connections, and sometimes descends too much to the language of conversation ; yet if his language had been less idiomatical, it might have lost somewhat of its genuine Anglicism. What he attempted he performed; he is never feeble, and he did not wish to be energétic; he is never rapid, and he never stagnates. His sentences have neither studied amplitude nor affected brévity; his periods, though not diligently rounded, are voluble and easy. Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison. -Johnson.
Under these Seven Principles, viewed in connection with the theory of Emphasis, may be included all that is practically useful in the art of reading. Every possible variety of
sentence may be resolved, we apprehend, into one or other of these Seven Principles.
In the first place, what is the rule of the Elliptical Member, which some systems represent as a separate principle, but that of the Antithesis ? Every antithesis, we have seen, admits, nay, necessarily involves, an ellipsis—the clause common to both terms of an antithesis, is obviously elliptical, and admits of no modulation. The following quotation is very generally adduced as an example of the elliptical member :
-“ Shall wé, in your person, crówn the aüthor of the pūblic calāmities, or shall wē destroy him ?”-the clause, “author of the public calamities,” being the elliptical member, and read, according to the supposed rule of the elliptical member, without any modulation, and on the monotone of the previously inflected word. But this is the very reading which the rule of the antithetic question would suggest—“crown” and “destroy” being the two terms of a simple antithesis, as illustrated under Principle Seventh. On recurring to the examples of antithesis formerly given, it will be found that in each an elliptical clause occurs. - The mánner of speaking is as important as the matter”-the phrase “ of speaking” being elliptical, as common to the two terms “manner” and “matter." “ Where is the jústice, or whére the expediency, of sūch a mēasure ?”—the phrase “ of such a measure" being elliptical. The same principle obtains in every other example of the antithesis, the rule of which is, that the antithetic terms only take the inflection-consequently, any additional rule of ellipsis is unnecessary.
In the second place, what is the principle of the Climax but that of the Series? The climax, no doubt, is marked by an increase of energy in the reader proportioned to the increase of feeling or argument; but this has been shown to belong to the series, and every other form of sentence, and to depend not upon any particular form of sentence, or any principle of modulation, but altogether upon the earnestness of the reader. He is expected, at all times, to consult the pervading sense of his passage, and resign himself to the feelings it awakens.
Lastly, what is the rule of the Echo, or Repetition, as it is sometimes called, but that of the Exclamation ?—which was already stated, in connection with the Interrogation, as generally requiring the rising modulation. What is the Monotone, or Circumflex, or Harmonic Inflection, but a natural and animated manner of delivering certain passages according to the awakened earnestness of the reader? The numerous varieties, and shades of varieties, into which the theory of delivery has, from time to time, been subdivided, have all originated in the supposition that earnestness can be taught; that feeling and animation can, by mere dictation, be transfused into the mind of the reader. The principles of modulation have no such tendency. Feeling, energy, intensity, are all the reader's own ; correctness, grace, impressiveness of manner, are the gifts of elocution.
We suspect we are near the truth when we affirm that the orator is never so successful as when, in entire forgetfulness of all extreme niceties of voice and gesture, he throws himself into his subject, and follows whithersoever nature may carry him. To assign rules for every modification of tone, emphasis, or feeling, is not less absurd than to insist that a child should understand the laws of speech before he articulates the letters of the alphabet. The faculty of speech is already possessed, and the volition of the child is all that is required for its full development; in like manner, the orator possesses the sensibility of expressing every elevation of sentiment in its appropriate earnestness, could he only resign himself to its natural impulse. Much of the propriety of delivery consists in the graceful shifting of the voice from one level to another; which, of
is altogether a general principle, not reducible to rule, any more