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perfons read with an improper emphafis, or with no emphasis at all, that is, with a stupid monotony. Much ftudy and pains are neceffary in acquiring the habit of just and forcible pronunciation; and it can only be the effect of close attention and long practice, to be able, with a mere glance of the eye, to read any piece with good emphafis and good difcretion.
It is another office of Emphafis to exprefs the oppofition between the feveral parts of a fentence, where the style is pointed and antithetical. Pope's Effay on Man, and his Moral Effays, and the Proverbs of Solomon, will furnish many proper exercises in this fpecies of speaking. In fome sentences the antithefis is double, and even treble; thefe must be expreffed in reading, by a very diftinct emphasis on each part of the oppofition. The following inftances are of this kind:
ANGER may glance into the breast of a wife man; but refts only in the bofom of fools.
An angry man who fuppreffes his paffion, thinks worfe than he speaks: and an angry man that will chide, speaks worfe than he thinks.
BETTER to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
He rais'd a mortal to the skies;
She brought an angel down.
EMPHASIS likewife ferves to exprefs fome particular meaning not immediately arifing from the words, but depending upon the intention of the speaker, or fome incidental circumftance. The following fhort fentence may have three different meanings, according to the different place of the Emphasis: Do you intend to go to London this fummer?
In order to acquire a habit of speaking with a just and forcible emphafis, nothing more is neceffary, than previously to study the construction, meaning, and spirit of every sentence, and to adhere as nearly as poffible to the manner in which we diftinguish one word from another in converfation; for in familiar difcourse we fcarcely ever fail to exprefs ourfelves emphatically, and feldom place the emphafis improperly. With respect to artificial helps, fuch as diftinguishing words or claufes of fentences by particular characters or marks; I believe it will always be found, upon trial, that they miflead instead of affift the reader, by not leaving him at full liberty to follow his own understanding and feelings.
THE most common faults refpecting emphasis are, laying fo ftrong an emphasis on one word as to leave no power of giving a particular force to other words, which, though not equally, are in a certain degree emphatical; and placing the greateft stress on conjunctive particles, and other words of fecondary importance. Thefe faults are ftrongly characterised in Churchill's cenfure of Moffop.
WITH ftudied improprieties of fpeech
He foars beyond the hackney critic's reach.
Whilft principals, ungrac'd, like lacquies wait;
HE, SHE, IT, AND, WE, YE, THEY, fright the foul.
EMPHASIS is often deftroyed by an injudicious. attempt to read melodiously. Agreeable inflexions and eafy variations of the voice, as far as they arife from, or are consistent with just speaking, are deferving of attention. But to fubftitute one unmeaning tune, in the room of all the proprieties. and graces of good elocution, and then to applaud this manner, under the appellation of musical fpeaking,
fpeaking, can only be the effect of great ignorance and inattention, or of a depraved tafte. If public fpeaking must be musical, let the words be fet to mufic in recitative, that these melodious speakers may no longer lie open to the farcafm; Do you read or fing? if you fing, you fing very ill. Seriously, it is much to be wondered at, that this kind of reading, which has fo little merit confidered as mufic, and none at all confidered as fpeaking, fhould be fo ftudiously practised by many speakers, and fo much admired by many hearers. Can a method of reading, which is fo entirely different from the ufual manner of conversation, be natural and right? Is it poffible that all the varieties of fentiment, which a public speaker has occafion to introduce, fhould be properly expreffed by one melodious tone and cadence, employed alike on all occafions and for all purposes?
Acquire a just variety of Paufe and Cadence.
NE of the worft faults a speaker can have, is to make no other paufes than what he finds barely neceffary for breathing. I know of nothing
nothing that such a speaker can fo properly be compared to, as an alarum-bell, which, when once fet a-going, clatters on till the weight that moves it is run down. Without paufes, the fense must always appear confused and obfcure, and often be misunderstood; and the spirit and energy of the piece must be wholly loft.
IN executing this part of the office of a speaker, it will by no means be fufficient to attend to the points used in printing; for these are far from marking all the pauses which ought to be made in speaking. A mechanical attention to these resting-places has perhaps been onechief cause of monotony, by leading the reader to a uniform found at every imperfect break, and a uniform cadence at every full period. The ufe of points is to affift the reader in difcerning the grammatical conftruction, not to direct his pronunciation. In reading, it may often be proper to make a pause where the printer has made none. Nay, it is very allowable for the fake of pointing out the fenfe more ftrongly, preparing the audience for what is to follow, or enabling the speaker to alter the tone or height of the voice, fometimes to make a very confiderable