« AnteriorContinuar »
most parts of it have no better foundation than the vivid fancy and delicate taste of its inventor. Nature would have dealt out her favours with a parsimonious hånd indeed, had she allowed the human voice no greater scope in inflecting the multifarious and insurpassable variety of forms of expression, and modes of intonation, which occur in our language, than that prescribed by Mr. Walker's rules.
But notwithstanding we may take great liberties with many of the foregoing rules
which attempt to regulate the inflections proper to be given to a simple series of words, it must have been observed by the judicious reader of the preceding, general development of this intricate and delicate subject, that many of the rules given for the regulation of the inflections of the voice -such, for example, as those which appertain to the closing inflection of simple affirmative, negative, interrogative, and ex. clamatory sentences, as well as of declarative and conditional members of sentences, and so forth—have their foundation in the philosophy of vocal sounds and the principles of the language; and that, therefore, the laws which govern such inflections, are as unchangeable as the laws of the Medes and Persians. Some of these rules, it is true, have their exceptions ; but even these exceptions are controlled by principles and circumstances that are easily revealed and explained. The amount of the matter is, then, that, in whatever light we view this subject, the leading rules, together with their exceptions, which tend to regulate
the inflections of the voice, merit the particular attention of him who would excel in the science of elocution. But their great importance may be more strongly enforced by adducing a few examples in which it will appear, that a wrong inflection will totally pervert the sense.
In pronouncing a succession of words, should the tones and modulations of the voice always be varied ?
What is a Simple Series ?—Repeat and explain Note 1.
What is said in Observation 1, under the note? What, in Obs. 2? Repeat and illustrate Note 2-also, the Observation under it.
What is Note 3 ?
How, according to the Observation, can the example under Note 3, be varied in its inflections ?- Illustrate those variations.
Repeat and explain Note 4.
May the inflections applicable to the examples under these notes, also be varied from the prescribed form of the notes ?-Show wherein.
Repeat and explain Note 7.–Also, Note 8.
On what foundation rests Mr. Walker's scheme for inflecting the various series of words?
Reading and reflection' tend to expand the intellect'. Reading and reflection' tend greatly to expand the intellect.
The intellectual powers are strengthened and expanded by reading' and reflection'.
Persecution', condemnation, and ridicule', awaited Galileo', Harvey, and Newton', for announcing three great physical discoveries'.
Persecution', condemnation', and ridicule', were the reward of Galileo, Harvey', and Newton', for announcing to the world three of the greatest discoveries in physical science'
. Persecution', condemnation', and ridicule', were lavished upon Galileo', Harvey', and Newton'.
Drs. Cullen', Gregory', Blumenbach', and Magendie', assert that the mental faculties are connected with the brain'.
Memory', imagination', judgment', and sentiment', may all be put to sleep by a few grains of a very common and simple drug.
There are four temperaments', accompanied by different de grees of activity in the brain the lymphatick', the sanguine'
, the bilious', and the nervous':-or, the lymphatick', the sanguine', the bilious', and the nervous':-or, the lymphatick', the sanguine', the bilious', and the nervous'.
When both the upward and the downward slides of the voice occur in pronouncing a syllable, they are denominated a Circumflex or Wave. It is represented by the following mark (), which is commonly placed over a vowel; thus (â).
The upward and the downward slides of the voice sometimes extend to three or four variations on the same syllable; for which reason Dr. Rush has divided the circumflexes or waves into single, double, and continued; and subdivided them again into equal, direct, inverted, unequal, direct unequal, and inverted unequal. Although to the ordinary reader, these distinctions
may be of little importance, yet some may be gratified with an illustration of them.
SINGLE, DOUBLE, AND CONTINUED WAVE. When the voice rises and falls, or falls and rises, only once upon the same syllable, the movement is called a Single Wave.
When the voice rises and falls, and rises again, or falls and rises, and falls again, on the same syllable, the movement is called a Double Wave.
When there are more than three parts to a circumflex, it is denominated a Continued Wave.
EQUAL, DIRECT, INVERTED WAVE, &c. When the rise and fall of the voice on a syllable, are equal, the movement is called an Equal Wave.
When the voice rises first, and then falls, in an equal wave, the movement is denominated a Direct Equal Wave.
But when it falls first, and then rises, it is called an Inverted Equal Wave.
When the upward and the downward slides of the voice in a circumflex movement, are unequal, it is called an Unequal Wave.
When the first part of an unequal circumflex, rises, it is denominated a Direct Unequal Wave.
When the first part of an unequal wave, falls, it is called an Inverted Unequal Wave.
ILLUSTRATION. “ Hảil! beauteous stranger of the wood."
If the word “hail,” in this sentence, be uttered with a perceptible, downward ending, and with protracted or long quantity, though without emphasis, the movement of the voice will display the direct equal wave of a second, or an upward and downward slide of the voice through one tone.
High on a thrône of royal state."
If this line be pronounced in a similar manner, though with the rising inflection at the close of each word, it will exhibit the inverted equal wave of a second on the syllables “high,” " throne," and "toy." " I said he was my
friend." Let this sentence be slowly uttered, with long quantity, and such an emphasis upon “my” as to contrast it with your friend, and the word "my will show the direct equal wave of
a third ; that is, the voice will rise and fall through two tones.
“Ah! is he your friend, then ?"
Let this last sentence be enunciated as a reply to the preceding, and with a somewhat brisk air of surprise, though with long quantity and a natural emphasis upon your," and it will display the inverted equal wave of a third. If the sentence,
Yes, I said he was my friend,” be reiterated with a strongly positive emphasis upon my, and with ex. tended quantity, it will exhibit the direct equal wave of a fifth: or the voice will rise and fall upon the word through three and a half tones.
"Is he solely your friend ?"
If the utterance of this interrogation be rendered more piercing, with long quantity and increased emphasis of surprise upon the word your, it will show the inverted wave of a fifth.
The direct unequal wave will be shown by pronouncing the word my, in the sentence, “I said he was any friend,” in a strongly taunting and positive manner. If, in the sentence, Is he yoûr friend ?" the word your
be uttered with a strong expression of scorn and interrogation, it will exhibit the inverted unequal wave.
"Pity the sorrows of a poor old man'."
If suspensive quantity and a plaintive tone be given to the words “poor” and “old," in the foregoing example, they will exhibit the direct wave of the semitone : and if the word “man" receive a plaintive expression and extended quantity, and the voice be made to rise on the second part of the wave, it will show the inverted wave of the semitone.
As a command over these elements, is of great importance to a reader or a speaker, a faithful exercise on the following, vowel sounds, will be found useful to the learner.
The rising and falling slides of a second, third, fifth, and octave, and, also, the direct and inverted equal and unequal waves, may be given to a in a-ll, a in a-pe, a in a-rch, o in o-wn, ou in ou-r, ee in ee-l, oo in oo-ze, oi in j-oy, i in i-sle, ew in b-eau-ty, n-ew, and
For a farther development of this subject, the reader is referred to Dr. Rush's " Philosophy of the Human Voice," p. 210.
If we are marked to die, we are enough
No, no, my lord; wish not a mân from England. If the word “ inan," in this passage, be uttered with such an emphasis laid upon it as to contrast it with some antithetical word understood, but without any circumflex of the voice on the vowel a, the sense will be perverted, and the inferential meaning will be, that, although he should not wish a man, yet he might wish a woman, or a horse : whereas, if the direct equal wave of a third, with long quantity, be given to the word "man," the meaning and the beauty of the passage will be fully displayed
Example.-Mr. Addison relates an anecdote of an ancient philosopher, who, after having invited some of his friends to dine with him, was disturbed by a person that came into the room in a passion, and overturned the dinner table: to which outrage the philosopher calmly replied, “Every one has his calamity; and he is a happy man that has no greater than this.
Remark. This quoted sentence ought to be read with an easy, free, and perfectly familiar intonation; and then the emphatick words,"calamity," "happy" and "this," as well as the word “man," will very happily display the circumflex movements of the voice. In short, the wave of the voice occurs, more or less, in the pronunciation of emphatick words. This subject will, therefore, be resumed under the head of emphatick inflections. Examples in which a wrong Inflection is capable of pervert
ing the meaning
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea';
And leaves the world to darkness and to me'. The author has marked the inflections and pauses in this passage, agreeably to the elocution which he thinks ought to be given to it. But who has not observed, that it is commonly read with the rising inflection and the suspending pause applied to the word “tolls,” in the first line ? And who does not perceive, that such a reading would give the line a totally different meaning from the correct one? It would change the character of the verb “tolls" from an intransitive to a transitive, and make the word “knell” an objective case to it, and moreover, render the line tame, and unpoetical ; whereas, nothing can be more obvious, than that the writer designed the word