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O Thou, by whom we come to God,
THE NEGATIVE AND CONCESSIVE MEMBERS.
RULE.-Every Negative or Concessive division takes the rising modulation on its last accented or emphatic word; whereas its Penultimate takes the low monotone or weak falling modulation, to prepare the voice for ascending.
A negative division is that which refuses assent to a proposition—a concessive division is that which yields it. The negative, denying or dissenting, is generally followed by a member assenting or affirming, which commences with the disjunctive conjunction but, than, or yet, expressed or implied; the concessive division, assenting or conceding, is generally followed by a member dissenting, which also commences with the expressed or implied conjunction but, than, or yet. It may be useful to junior pupils to state that the negative division is known by one or other of the seven negative particles, no, not, neither, nor, never, none, nothing; the concessive division, by the auxiliary verbs may, might, can, could, or the adverbial phrase at least.
EXAMPLE-In which the harmonic inflection is also marked." Màn was created for eternity"-an affirmative member with the falling inflection. "Mán was not created for the duties of a dáy merely"-a negative member with the rising inflection on its accented word "day." "Mán may conceive himself created for the duties of a dáy merely"now a concessive member with the same inflection.
Again." Vírtue is of intrinsic value and good desèrt, and of indispensable obligàtion; not the creature of will,
but nécessary and ímmùtable; not local or témporary, but of équal extent and antíquity with the Divíne mind; not a mòde of sensation, but of everlasting trùth; not depèndent on power, but the guide of all power."
Again." An author may be jùst in his séntiments, lively in his figures, and clear in his expréssion, yēt māy have no claim to be admítted into the rank of finished writers." The preceding clauses, "sentiments," "figures," cannot admit the low monotone or falling slide, as preliminary to the closing concessive, "expression," because they themselves are concessive, and must therefore partake of the same modulation though in a less degree.
Again. The negative or concessive member, instead of commencing a sentence, may conclude it, in which case the order of the modulations is reversed. Thus-" Happiness is conferred upon us, not earned by ourselves-it is the result of grace, not of wórks; it is óffered to àll, though some may mistake the path that leads to it.”
The rising modulation is required in negative and concessive clauses, in order to present them in greater contrast with the succeeding affirmative. Indeed it will appear throughout the whole system of modulation, that the great purpose of the rising slide is to express either opposition or suspension. It is seldom used either in ordinary life or in the systems of elocution, where contrast is not implied or where inconclusiveness of sense is not involved.
Although the negative clause is never found without one or other of the seven negative particles already enumerated, the same does not hold true in regard to the concessive clause. Sentences sometimes occur in which the sense is obviously concessive, though the signs may, might, can, could, at least, are not expressed. Hence the necessity that the young reader, in particular, should not be guided entirely by the form of expression, but chiefly by the sense of the
passage. Thus “The glóry of àncestors casts (may cast) a light indeed upon their postérity, but it only serves to shów what the descendants àre." "The énemy have their own country behind them, have pláces of rèfuge to flý to, and are secure from dànger in the roads thíther; but for you there is no middle fortune between death and vìctory.” In these, the preceding members are obviously concessive in their import, though they want the external signs.
Besides, the reader will observe that the negative and concessive signs frequently occur in sentences that convey no negative or concessive meaning. This is more particularly the case in such as express command, expostulation, or admonition. Thus, in the Decalogue-"Thoù shált not kill" -“Thòu shált nōt steàl,” which are to be considered affirmative. Thus also in Hannibal's speech to the Carthaginian army "Pass not the Ibèrus. Whát nèxt? Touch not the Saguntines. Sagúntum is upon the Ibērus. Move nōt a step towards that city." In all these the negative adverb occurs, yet the sense is affirmative.
The following Extracts may be read in connection with Principle Second :
CHRIST'S GLORY VISIBLE IN HIS HUMILIATION.
Hìs bírth was mean on earth belów; but it was cèlebrated with hallelújahs by the heavenly hóst in the air abòve: he hád but a poòr lodging; but a stàr lighted vísitants to it from dístant coùntries. Nèver prínce had sùch vísitants so conducted. He had not the magníficent équipage that other kings have; but he was attended with mùltitudes of patients, seeking and obtaining healing of soul and body. He made the dumb that attended him to sing his praises, and the làme to leap for jòy; the deaf to hear his wonders, and the blìnd to see his glòry. He had nó guàrd of sóldiers, nor magníficent rètinue of sérvants; but health and sickness, life and death, received and obeyed his òrders. Even the winds and storms, which no earthly power can contról, obèyed him; and death and the gràve durst not refuse to deliver up their prey when he demanded it. He did not walk upon tápestry; but when
he walked on the sea, the waters suppòrted him. All pàrts of the creátion, excépting sìnful mán, hónoured him as their Creàtor. He kept no treasure; but when he had occasion for money, the sèa sént it to him in the mouth of a fish. He had nò bárns nor còrn-fields; but when he inclined to make a féast, a fèw loaves covered a table sufficient for many thousands. None of áll the mònarchs of the world ever gave súch entertainment!
By these and màny súch things, the Redèemer's glóry shone through his meanness in the sēveral pārts of his lìfe. Nór was it whòlly cloúded at his death. He had not, indeed, that fantàstic équipage of sōrrow that òther greát pērsons have on sūch occāsions; but the frame of náture solemnised the death of its A'uthor, -heaven and earth were mòurners-the sún was clàd in bláck, -and if the inhàbitants of the earth were unmoved, the earth itself trembled under the awful lòad. There were féw to pay the Jewish compliment of rending their garments; but the rocks were not so insensible-they rent their bòwels. He had not a gràve of his own; but other men's graves òpened to him. Death and the gráve might have been proud of such a tenant in their térritories; but he came not there as a súbject, but as an invàder-a cònqueror. It was then the king of térrors lost his sting; and on the third day the Prince of Life trìumphed over him, spòiling death and the gràve.—Maclaurin.
ON GRACE IN WRITING.
I will not undertake to mark out, with any sort of precision, that idea which I would express by the word Grace: and perhaps it can no more be clearly described than justly defined. To give you, however, a general intimation of what I mean when I apply that term to compositions of genius, I would resemble it to that easy air which so remarkably distinguishes certain persons of a genteel and liberal cast. It consists not only in the particular beauty of single parts, but arises from the general symmetry and construction of the whole. An author may be just in his sentiments, lively in his figures, and clear in his expression; yet may have no claim to be admitted into the rank of finished writers. The several members must be so agreeably united, as mutually to reflect beauty upon each other; their arrangement must be so happily disposed, as not to admit of the least transposition, with
out manifest prejudice to the entire piece. The thoughts, the metaphors, the allusions, and the diction, should appear easy and natural, and seem to arise like so many spontaneous productions, rather than as the effects of art or labour.
Whatever, therefore, is forced or affected in the sentiments; whatever is pompous or pedantic in the expression, is the very reverse of Grace. Her mien is neither that of a prude nor a coquette; she is regular without formality, and sprightly without being fantastical. Grace, in short, is to good writing what a proper light is to a fine picture; it not only shows all the figures in their several portions and relations, but shows them in the most advantageous manner.
As gentility (to resume my former illustration) appears in the minutest action, and improves the most inconsiderable gesture, so grace is discovered in the placing even a single word, or the turn of a mere expletive. Neither is this inexpressible quality confined to one species of composition only, but extends to all the various kinds; to the humble pastoral as well as to the lofty epic; from the slightest letter to the most solemn discourse.
I know not whether Sir William Temple may not be considered as the first of our prose authors who introduced a graceful manner into our language: at least that quality does not seem to have appeared early, or spread far amongst us; but wheresoever we may look for its origin, it is certainly to be found in its highest perfection in the essays of a gentleman whose writings will be distinguished so long as politeness and good sense have any admirers. That becoming air, which Tully esteemed the criterion of fine composition, and which every reader, he says, imagines so easy to be imitated, yet will find so difficult to attain, is the prevailing characteristic of all that excellent author's most elegant performances. In a word, one may justly apply to him what Plato, in his allegorical language, says of Aristophanes; that the Graces, having searched all the world round for a temple wherein they might for ever dwell, settled at last in the breast of Mr Addison.-Fitzosborne,