« ForrigeFortsæt »
taidmenis are, in this respect imperfect, (ard many there are in this situation, it will be incumbent on his teacher, to carry bion back to these primary articulations : and to suspend his progress, till he become perfectly mas:er of them. It will be in vain to press him forward, with the hope of forming a good reader, if he cannot completely articulate every elenientary sound of the language.
SECTION III-DUE DEGREB OF SLOTTE SS.
In order to express ourselves distinctly, moderation is requisite with regard to the speed of pronouncing. - Precipi. tancy of speech confounds all articulation, and all meaning. It is scarcely necessary to obsei ve, that there may be also an extreme on the opposite side. It is obvious that a lifeless drawling manner of reading, which allows the minds of the hearers to be always outrunning the speaker, must render ev. ery such performance insipid and fatiguing. But the extreme of reading too fastis much more common,and requires the more to be guarded against, because, when it has grown into a hab. it, few errors are more difficult to be corrected. To pronounce with a proper degree of slowness, and with full and clear articulation, is necessary to be studied by all, who wish to become good readers ; and it can not be too much recommended to them. Such a pronunciation gives weight and dignity to the subject. It is a great assistance to the voice, by the pauses and rests which it allows the reader more easily to make ; and it enables the reader to swell all his sounds, both with more force and more harmony.
SECTION IV-PROPRIETY OF PRONUNCIATION,
AFTER the fundamental attentions to the pitch and management of the voice, to distinct articulation, and to a proper degree of slowness of speech, what the young reader must, in the next place study, is propriety of pronunciation ; or, giving to every word which he utlers, that sound which the best usage of the language appropriates to it ; in opposition to broad, vulgar, or. provincial pronunciation. This is requisite both for reading intelligibly, and for reading with correctness and ease. Instructions concerning this article may best be given by the lising teacher. But there is 0:e observation, which it may not be improper here to make. In the Englis!
language, every word which consists of more syllables than one, has one accenied syllable. The accent rests sometimes on the consonant. The genies of the language, requires the voice to mark that syllable by a stronger percussion, and to pass more slightly over the rest. Now, after we have learn. ed the proper seats of these accents, it is an important rule, to give every word just the same accent in reading, as in common discourse. Many persons err in this respect. When They read to others, and with solemnity, they pronounce the syllables in a different manner from what they do at other times. They dwell upon them; they multiply accents on the samesword : from a mistaken notion, that it gives gravity and importance to their subject, and adds to the energy of their delivery. Whereas this is one of the greatest faulis lhat can be committed in pronunciation : it makes what is called a pompous or mouthing manner: and gives an artificial affect. ed air to reading, which detracts greatly both from its agree. ableness, and its impression.
Sheridan and Walker have published Dictionaries, for as. certaining the true and best pronunciation of the words of our language. By attentively consulting them, particularly, “ Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary,” the young reader will be much assisted, in his endeavours to attain a correct pronunciation of the words belonging to the English language.
By Emphasis is meant a stronger and fuller sound of voice, by which we distingnish sume wird or words, on which wê de. sign to lay particular stre:S, ai d to shew how they affect Ilie rest of the sentence. Sometimes the emphatic words must be distinguished by a parlicular tone of vo ce, as well as by a particular stress. On the right nanagement ofihe emphasis die pends the life of pronunciation. Il no emplasis be placed on any w.irds, not only is discourse rendered heavy and lifte less, but the meaning left often an biguous. If the emphasis be placed wrong, we pervert and confuuid the meaning wholly.
Enphasis may be divided into the superior and the inferior emphisis. The superior emphasis determines the ineaning of a sentence, with reference to something said before, presuppos:d by the author as general knowlelge, or removes an aubiguity, where a passage may have more senses than one. The inferior emphasis enforces, graces, and enligens, but does not fix, the meaiiing of any passage. The words to which this latter emphasis is given, are in general such as seem the most important in the sentence, or, on other accounts, to merit this distinction. The following passage will serve to exemplify the superior emphasis.
« Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
“ Sing heav'nly Muse." Supposing that originally other beings, besides men, had disobeyed the commands of the Almighty, and that the cir. cumstance were well known to us, there would fall an emphasis upon the word man's in the first line ; and hence it would be read thus :
« Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit,” &c. But if it were
a notorious truih, that mankind had trans. gressed in a peculiar manner more than once, the emphasis would fall. un first; and the line be read,
• Of man's first disobedience,” &c. Again, admitting death (as was really the case) to have been an unheard-of and dreadful punishment, brought upon man in consequence of his transgression; on that supposition the third line would be read,
“ Brought death into the world," &e. But if we were to suppose, that mankind knew there was such an evil as death in other regions, though the place they inhabited had been free from it till their transgression, the line would run thus ::
“ Brought death into the world," &c. The superior emphasis finds place in the following short sentence, which admits of four distinct meanings, each of which is ascertained by the emphasis only.--"Do you ride to town to-day?"
The following examples illustrate the nature and use of the aferioremphasis. " Many persons mistake the love for the practice of virtue.'s
“ Shall I reward his services with fulsehood ? Shall I forg hini who cannoi forget me ?"
If his principles are fulse, no apology for himself can maks them right : if founded in truth, no censure from others can make them wrong."
Though deep, yet clear : though gentle, yet not dull
6 Strong without rage : without o’erflowing, full.” « Afriend exaggerates a man's virtues; an enemy his crimes."
; “ The wise man is happy, when he gains his own approbation ; the fool, when he gaius that of others,"
The superior emphasis, in reading as in speaking, musi be determined entirely by the sense of the passage, and always made alıke : but as to the inferior emphasis, taste alone seems to have the right of fixing its situation and quantitp.
Among the number of persons, who have had proper opp... tunities of learning to read, in the best manner it is now taught, very few.could be selected, who in a given instance, would use the inferior emphasis alike, either as to place or quantity. Some persons, indeed, use scarcely any degree of it : and others do not scruple to carry it far beyond any thing to be found in common discourse ; and even sometimes throw it upon words so very trilling in theniselves, that it is evidently done with no other view, than to give greater variety to the modulatio:1.* Notwithstanding this diversity of practice, there are certainly proper boundaries, within which this emphasis must be restrained, in order to make it meet the approbation of sound judgment and correct taste. It will doubtless have different degrees of exertion, according to the greater or less degree of importance of the words upon which it operates ; ond there may be very properly some variety in the use of it, but its application is not arbitrary, depending on the caprice of readers.
As emphasis often falls on words in different parts of the same sentence, so it is frequently required to be continued, with a liitle variation, on two, and sometimes more words to gether. The following sentences exemplify both the parts or
* By modulation is meant that pleasing variety of voice, which is per. ceived in uttering a sentence, and which, in its nature, is perfectly distinct from emphasis, and the tones of emotion and passion. The young reader should be carefulto render his modulation correct and easy; and, for this purpose, should forin it upon the model ofthe most judicious and accurate speakers.
or e of
forg this position : “ If you seek to make one rich, study not to
increase his stores but to diminish his desires." " The Mexican makigures, or picture-writing, represent things, not words : they
exhibit images to the eye not ideas 10 ihe understanding."
Some sentences are so full aud comprehensive, that almost
every word is emphatical : as, " Ye bills and dales, ye rivers, lull
woods, and plsins !” or, as that pathetic expostulation in the je uphecy of Ezekiel, “ Why will ge die ?
Emphasis, besides its other offices, is the great regulator of quantity. Though the quantity of our syliables is fixed, in voids separately pronounced, yet it is mutuible, when these
words are ranged in sentences; the long beng changed into ว!!st
short, the short into long, according to the importance of the word with regard to meaning. Emphasis also in particular
cases, alters the seat of the accent. This is demonstrante T.
the following examples. 6" He shall increase, but I shall decrease." - There is a difference between giving and for
giving." “ In tiis species of composition, plausibility is ice,
much more essential ihn prebability." in these examples, the emphasis requires the accent to be placed on syllables,
to which it does not com nonly belong. : ing
In order to acquire the proper management of the emplan ges
sis, the great rule io be given, is, ibat the reader study to at. tain a just concepuice of the force and s; irii ct be settin' its which te is to pronounce. For o lay the emajha is with exact propriety, is a constent exercise of good serse and wttention. It is far from being an inculsiderable attainn.ento, it is one of the most decisivo inals of a true and just taste: and must arise from feeling delicately oursesves, and tiom juriging accurate!y of what is fill-st to strike the ieclings f others.
There is one trior, against which it is par icu'ary poper to in
caution the learner ; namely, that of multi, lying emphalical 01
words 100 muulgasd usi g the emphasis indiscrimiriately. It is
only by a prucent reserve and distinction in the use of them, he
that we can give them any weighit. di they recur 00 ofen; do if a reader aiempis to renderevery thing he expresses of high
importance, by a multitude of stro. g emphasis, we xoon learn OL
to pay little regard to then To ciowd every sentence with emphatical words, is like crowding all the pages of a book with ita 'ic characters ; hich as to the effect, is just the Sanic as
use ao such distinctions at all. is
eet will the ch