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drawl perceived in the forced extension of the immutable class; as, gratitude, destruction.
An indefinite syllable is one which seems to be the same under every degree of prolongation; as, be-guile, si-lent.
Accent is stress of the voice laid upon a syllable in a word, in order to distinguish it from the other syllables; as, on sist, in the word con-sist.
With the exception of amen, every word in the English language of more than one syllable, has one of these syllables accented.
Accent is determined by custom or good use ; the standard of dictionaries being based on the practice of the best speakers. It may however be changed by emphasis ; as, “He must in'crease, but I must decrease.”
Harmony of versification may also require a change in the accent; as,
Queen to Hamlet.
The accent also varies according to the part of speech, and the meaning of the word; as, “I refuse the ref/use.” “I will not desert! him even in the des' ert."
Primary Accent is stress placed on the most important syllable in a word.
In trisyllables or polysyllables, Secondary Accent is inferior stress placed on one or two syllables besides that which receives primary accent, in order to promote distinctness and euphony.
“Correct accent is indispensable in reading and speaking; not merely as a convenience of intelligible expression, and as a result of education, but as an indication of intelligence and of taste, in regard to language, and as an element of all distinct and spirited expression. The accented syllable of every expressive word becomes the seat of life in utterance; and there can be no surer way of rendering the exercise of reading unweaning and uninteresting, than to indulge the three prevalent faults of slighting the accent of words, unduly prolonging and forcing it, and distributing its effect over several syllables of a word, instead of confining it to one." Russell.
* Accent and Emphasis belong properly under the head of Stress, though they are here inserte l to meet the necessities of teaching.
Emphasis is the stress of the voice laid upon a word to distinguish it from the other words in the same sentence;
The repose of the soul is exercise, not rest. — Robertson. Emphasis may also be defined as the expressive, but occasional distinction of a syllable, and thereby the whole word, or of several successive words, by one or more of the various forms and degrees of Time, Quality, Force, Abruptness, and Pitch.
“It is the manner of uttering emphatic words which decides the meaning of every sentence that is read or spoken. A true emphasis conveys a sentiment clearly and forcibly to the mind, and keeps the attention of an audience in active sympathy with the thoughts of the speaker; it gives full value and effect to all that he utters, and secures a lasting impression on the memory.” — Russell.
Emphasis is determined by the sentiment. It is divided into Absolute Emphasis, or Emphasis of Specification, and Antithetic Emphasis.
Absolute Emphasis is that used to express strong emotion, or the peculiar permanence of a thought, solely, singly considered ; as,
“We judge of a man's wisdom by his hope, knowing that the perception of the inexhaustibleness of nature is an immortal youth." Emerson.
Antithetic Emphasis is emphasis placed on words expressive of contrast or comparison; as,
In reading, be careful to distinguish between a thought and a feeling — an idea and a sentiment.
When emphasis is placed on but one word in & phrase, it is called Simple Emphasis;
when on more than one, it is named Compound Empbasis. In Compound Emphasis, the stress upon the most important of the emphatic words is called Superior Emphasis; that on the inferior, or least important of these, is called Inferior Emphasis.
A word, unless repeated for the purpose of more strongly expressing the same idea, should not be made emphatic more than once in the same connection.
“Care should be taken to avoid the two extremes of omitting or slighting emphasis, and of evincing an excessive anxiety with regard to it by the
unnecessary and formal marking of it by studied force of expression. A great defect in reading is the use of the circumflex upon most of the emphatic words; the wave, it should be remembered, belongs properly to irony or ridicule, — to the peculiar significance of words and phrases embodying logical and grammatical niceties of distinction, - or to the studied and peculiar emphasis which belongs to the utterance of a word intended to convey a pun.”
A very useful exercise is that of requiring of the pupils, previous to reading a sentence, a statement of the sentiment in his own words; the object being to attain a clear and accurate conception of the meaning, the true preparation for right emphasis.
The emphasis of emotion may in p'rt be communicated from the teacher's own reading; there may also be conversation upon the passage to be read, until from sympathetic and vivid interest in the idea, the pupils may express the emotion as their own.
The faulty emphasis of the circumflex must be removed by repeated practice of examples, and by expedients adapted to individual cases. Mutual correction by the pupils will be very important here, as in all other departments of elocution.
“Next to those whose elocution is absorbed in action, and who converse chiefly with their arms and legs, we may consider the professed speakers,and, first, the emphatical, — who squeeze, and press, and ram down every syllable with excessive vehemence and energy. These orators are remarkable for their distinct elocution and force of expression ; they dwell on the important particles of and the, and the significant conjunction and,—which they seem to hack up with much difficulty, out of their own throats, and to cram-with no less pain-into the ears of their auditors. These should be suffered only to syringe (as it were) the ears of a deaf man through a hearing-trumpet; though I must confess I am equally offended with the whisperers, or low speakers, who seem to fancy all their acquaintance deaf, and come up so close to you, that they may be said to measure noses with you. I would have these oracular gentry obliged to talk at a distance through a speaking-trumpet, or apply their lips to the walls of a whispering-gallery. The wits, who will not condescend to utter anything but a bon-mot, and the whistlers, or tune-hummers, who never talk at all, may be joined very agreeably together in a concert; and to these "tinkling cymbals 'I would also add the sounding-brass,' the bawler, who inquires after your health with the bellowing of a town-crier.” — The Spectator.
EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATING EMPHASIS OF SPECIFICATION.*
“ In all ages Love is the truth of life. Men cannot injure us except so far as they exasperate us to forget ourselves. No man is really dishonored except by his own act. Calumny, injustice, ingratitude, — the only harm these can do us is by making us bitter, or rancorous, or gloomy; by shutting our hearts, or souring our affections. We rob them of their power, if they only leave us more sweet and forgiving than before. And this is the only true victory. We win by love. Love transmutes all curses, and forces them to
* In reading, the pupil should remember to observe the proper standing position, - holding the book in the left hand, opposite the chest, a short distance from the bay.
rain down blessings.* Our enemies become unconsciously our best friends, when their slanders deepen in us heavenlier graces. Let them do their worst; they only give us the Godlike victory of forgiving them.” — Rev. F. W. Robertson.
“ If men lived like men indeed, their houses would be temples – temples which we should hardly dare to injure, and in which it would make us holy to be permitted to live. When men do not love their hearths, nor reverence their thresholds, it is a sign that they have dishonored both, and that they have never acknowledged the true universality of that Christian worship, which was indeed to supersede the idolatry, but not the piety of the pagan. Our God is a household God, as well as a heavenly one. He has an altar in every man's dwelling; let men look to it when they rend it lightly and pour out its ashes.” – John Ruskin.
“ There is a sacredness in individuality of character; each one born into this world is a fresh, new soul intended by his Maker to develop himself in a new, fresh way. We are what we are; we cannot be truly other than ourselves. We reach perfection not by copying, much less by aiming at originality; but by consistently and steadily working out the life which is common to us all, according to the character which God has given us. There is one universe in which each separate star differs from another in glory; one Church, in which a single Spirit, the life of God, pervades each separate soul; and just in proportion as that life becomes exalted, does it enable every one to shine forth in the distinctness of his own separate individuality, like the stars of heaven.” —— Robertson.
“Nature, that great missionary of the Most High, preaches to us forever in all tones of love, and writes truth in all colors, on manuscripts illuminated with stars and flowers. If we were in harmony with the whole, we might understand her. Here and there a spirit, less at discord, hears semi-tones in the ocean and wind, and when the stars look into his heart, he is stirred with dim recollection of a universal language, which would reveal all, if he only remembered the alphabet.” — Mrs. L. M. Child.
* When the article the precedes a word beginning with a consonant, it should be pronounced thể—; when it precedes a word beginning with a vowel, it should be pronounced thè.
The article a should be pronounced å — like the a in an.
When made emphatic, a should be pronounced å — and the, thể; as, Did you say à country or the country ?
The pronoun my, except in serious discourse, or when diade emphatic, is usually prinounced mi.
“God and good angels alone know the vast, the incalculable influence that goes out into the universe of spirit, and thence flows into the universe of matter, from the conquered evil and the voiceless prayer of one solitary soul. Wouldst thou bring the world unto God? Then live near to him thyself. If divine life pervade thine own soul, everything that touches thee will receive the electric spark, though thou mayest be unconscious of being charged therewith. This surely would be the highest, to strive to keep near the holy, not for the sake of our own reward here or hereafter, but that through love to God, we might bless our neighbor.” — Ibid.
“ There can be no meaner type of human selfishness than that afforded by him, who, unmindful of the world of sin and suffering about him, occupies himself in the pitiful business of saving his own soul in the very spirit of the miser, watching over his private hoard while his neighbors starve for lack of bread. But surely, the benevolent unrest, the far-reaching sympathies and keen sensitiveness to the suffering of others, which so nobly distinguish our present age, can have nothing to fear from a plea for personal holiness, patience, hope, and resignation to the Divine will. • The more piety, the more compassion,' says Isaac Taylor; and this is true, if we understand by piety, not self-concentred asceticism, but the pure religion and undefiled, which visits the widow and the fatherless, and yet keeps itself unspotted from the world, — which deals justly, loves mercy, and yet walks humbly before God. Self-scrutiny in the light of truth, can do no harm to any one, least of all to the reformer and philanthropist. The spiritual warrior, like the young candidate for knighthood, may be none the worse for his preparatory ordeal of watching all night by his armor.” · Whittier.
“We fear and hate the utterly unknown, and it only. Even pain we hate only when we cannot know it, — when we can only feel it, without explaining it and making it harmonize with our notions of our own deserts and destiny. And as for human beings, there surely it stands true, wherever else it may not, that all knowledge is love, and all love knowledge; that even with the meanest, we cannot gain a glimpse into their inward trials and struggles, without an increase of sympathy and affection.” — Kingsley.
“If speech is the bank-note for an inward capital of culture, of insight and noble human worth, then speech is precious, and the art of speech shall be honored. But if there is no inward capital ; if speech represent no real culture of the mind, but an imaginary culture; no bullion, but the fatal and almost hopeless deficit of such ?